5 things you didn't know about baby development

5 things you didn't know about baby development

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Newborns respond to certain touches the same way. And each baby knows her mom's unique voice, smell, and face. To boost your baby's brain power, talk a lot. Every baby's developmental timeline is different, and some babies mix in moves of their own.

Newborns come with built-in reflexes

Your newborn comes hard-wired with physical reflexes that enable her to do tricks from the get-go.

  • Rooting reflex: Stroke your baby's cheek, and she'll turn her head toward you.
  • Step reflex: Hold your baby with her feet touching a solid surface, and she'll do a little dance.
  • Grasping reflex: Stroke your baby's palm, and she'll close her fingers in a grasp.
  • Sucking reflex: Put your finger in your baby's mouth, and she'll suck it with the strength of a vacuum cleaner.
  • Babinski reflex: Firmly stroke the sole of your baby's foot, and her big toe will bend back and her other toes will fan out.

Newborns recognize their mom with multiple senses

Your baby's brain enables her to learn from birth by using her senses.

Newborns recognize and prefer their mother's:

  • Voice: Infants recognize their mother's voice at birth, which means that not only do babies hear in the womb, but they also remember what they hear.
  • Scent: Newborns respond to their mother's scent shortly after birth. Within a few days, a nursing baby can smell the difference between his mom's milk and someone else's.
  • Face: Newborns can see and discriminate between faces, and prefer their mother's.

How much you talk to your baby affects her future success

One of the easiest things you can do to help your baby thrive intellectually is to talk directly to her from day one – for example, by describing what you're doing or pointing out what you see. These conversations go beyond bonding.

They're not one-sided. Even a newborn will react – for example, by turning her head, making eye contact with you, wiggling her body, or kicking her legs.

Research shows that children whose parents spoke to them extensively as babies develop more advanced language skills and richer vocabularies, which later affect academic performance.

Babies don't get the same benefit from overhearing other people talking to each other in person or by passively listening to media, such as an audiobook. (The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping all screens off around children younger than 18 months.)

The range of normal development is wide

It can be hard to not worry when your baby is developing at a different rate than her peers. But because babies develop on individual timetables, there's a wide range of what's considered normal.

While most babies begin to walk when they're between 12 and 15 months, for example, others don't master the skill until they're 16 or 17 months old. Babies born prematurely often take longer to reach developmental milestones. Our development guides allow for these variations.

Learn more about specific milestones, your role in supporting your baby's development, and red flags that warrant a call to your baby's doctor:

  • Milestones: 1 to 6 months
  • Milestones: 7 to 12 months

Babies move around in different ways

A typical development sequence for a baby goes roughly like this: rolling over, followed by sitting, crawling, pulling herself up, cruising, walking, and running. Some babies, however, will move around by rolling or creeping commando-style.

As long as your baby is learning to coordinate each side of her body and using her legs and arms equally, as well as developing within age-appropriate guidelines, there's generally no need for concern. But talk to your baby's doctor if you have any questions about your baby's mobility or development.

Watch the video: 15 Most Dangerous Trees You Should Never Touch (August 2022).

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