9 Facts you should know about your baby's brain

Lets face it, most of them are bald and fat and speak a language you can’t understand, but what could be more captivating than a baby? Want to know what’s going on in that milk, poop and drool factory you love so much? Here’s a few facts that will fascinate you!

FACT #1 - All babies are born early

Biologists have suggested that if it wasn’t for the size limitations of the pelvis, women would be pregnant longer. Human babies are the most underdeveloped of all mammals. They’d have to stay in the womb for 18 months instead of 9 to be born with the same brain development as a chimpanzee newborn! For this reason, many doctors label the first three months of life as the fourth trimester during which moms should keep baby as close to them as possible and feed whenever baby wants to create an “external womb.”

FACT #2 - Your response wires your baby’s brain

Your child’s brain evolves via the responses given by their caregiver – you. Newborns have zero control of their prefrontal cortex so disciplining them is pointless and spoiling them is not possible. Responding to them promptly helps them grow a healthy brain, though it won’t always stop them from crying. Babies have a peak crying period at about 6 to 8 weeks old. Caregivers should know this phase will eventually pass.

FACT #3 - Those silly faces and noises people make at babies are important

Infants build a basic understanding of how emotional and physical communication mesh through those exaggerated happy faces and sad faces adults make at them. Baby talk (parentese, not gibberish) has also been found to be instinctual and critical to brain development. The emphasis on vowels and sounds helps babies grasp the components of language.

FACT #4 - Your baby’s first months are 'evolution on steroids'

After birth, the human brain develops rapidly and doubles in size by your baby’s first birthday. The brain reaches full size in kindergarten and may continue to grow up to the mid 20’s.

FACT #5 - Awareness

Babies’ brains are more complex than an adult’s. They also have less inhibitors making researchers suggest that baby’s reality is more diffuse than an adults.

To compare, a baby’s brain is like a lantern flicking light all across a room while an adults is more like a flashlight that focuses light in a specific direction.

As babies grow, neurological networks are made, fine tuning their life experience. It has been suggested that creative people have been able to retain their ability to think like an infant.

FACT #6 - Babbling equals learning

Babies do focus sometimes and when they do, they will let you know with a sound. Ambitious parents should keep a listen out for babbling and talk to them, its the only thing that makes babies smarter.

FACT #7 - There is such a thing as too much

If your baby looks bored and turns away, let them be. You don’t always have to be in their face making strange faces and talking non-stop.

Instinctively, you’ll probably respond to 50 to 60% of their babbling. Responding up to 80 percent can speed up language development.

FACT #8 - Tapes and DVDs are worthless

Babies divide the world in two categories-things that respond and things that don’t. Grab some blocks if you want to teach your kid instead of playing a DVD. Play is more important for brain development.

FACT #9 - babies can get overwhelmed

Everything is new! Everything! Just because babies need interaction doesn’t mean you should tickle them senseless every night. Not only should you be able to raise their curiosity but they depend on you to help them calm down.

 

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First published at Livescience.

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