The Basics Are Best
Every parent wants to give their child the best start in life. But when it comes to a baby's brain development, forget the high-tech gizmos, language flash cards, and "required" hours of classical music. It turns out that the things babies need most -- attention and affection from parents and caregivers -- come naturally in most families. "Most good parents who provide a healthy, sensitive environment are doing just what they should be doing," says Rick O. Gilmore, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Penn State University. As for "extras" like music appreciation: "If you like Mozart and want to play it in your home, great. If you like Garth Brooks, that's great too," he says.