Your toddler’s brain is still developing and will continue to grow rapidly until she reaches school age.

You can influence the healthy development of her brain through nurturing actions, lots of play and exploration, and reading to her as often as you can.

Remember: Never shake your child – this can cause serious, irreversible brain damage.

For more on how you can influence your child’s brain development, see Nurturing.

Principles of Brain Development

  • The outside world shapes the brain’s wiring.
  • The outside world is experienced through the senses - seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting - enabling the brain to create or modify connections.
  • The brain operates on a “use it or lose it” principle.
  • Relationships with other people early in life are the major source of development of the emotional and social parts of the brain.

(Source: Canadian Institute of Child Health)