1. Babies are born too early
In order to be able to fit through the birth canal, babies are born with a brain 1/4 the size of an adult brain. This is why “some pediatricians label a baby’s first three months of life as the “fourth trimester” of pregnancy to emphasize how needy, and yet devoid of social skills, babies are at this stage.”
2. Parents’ responses wire their baby’s brains
“The newborn prefrontal cortex – the brain’s so-called “executive” area – doesn’t have much control, so efforts to discipline or worries about spoiling are pointless at this stage. Instead, newborns are learning about hunger, loneliness, discomfort and fatigue – and what it feels like to have these pains relieved. Caregivers can help this process along by promptly responding to baby’s needs, experts suggest.”
3. Silly faces and sounds are important
“Parentese, or baby talk, is another seemingly instinctual response that researchers have found is critical to infant development. Its musicality and exaggerated, slow structure emphasizes critical components of a language, helping a baby grasp words, Eliot told LiveScience.”
4. Baby brains grow very rapidly
At birth, the brain of a baby resembles an ape more than it does the adult brain. “After birth, the human brain grows rapidly, more than doubling to reach 60 percent of its adult size by the time the tot is sampling his first birthday cake. By kindergarten, the brain has reached its full size but it may not finish developing until the kid is in his mid-20s”.
5. Baby brains are more like lanterns, whereas adult brains are more like a torchlight
Baby brains have less inhibitory neurotransmitters which is why they are generally aware of pretty much everything. “As babies mature, their brains go through a “pruning” process, where their neuronal networks are strategically shaped and fine-tuned by their experience. This helps them make order out of their worlds, but also makes it harder to innovate and come up with such breakthroughs… Creative people, Gopnik and others have argued, have retained some ability to think like an infant.”
A great way to retain that early creativity is to develop the right brain in conjunction with the left brain with whole brain development. This is also the reason why babies can learn even when they do not appear to be paying attention. In right brain development, Pamela Hickein talked about directional learning, peripheral learning and 360 degree learning. Only babies and young children are capable of all three, while adults are directional learners.
6. Babbling signals learning
When babies start babbling, they are indicating an interest to learn. Talking to babies makes them smarter.
7. There is no such thing as being too responsive
“Language development can be sped up when babies are responded to 80 percent of the time. Beyond that, however, learning declines. Parents also naturally “raise the babble bar,” by slowly responding less to sounds they have heard a baby make many times (like “eh”), but excitedly repeating a new sound that comes closer to a word (such as “da”.)” This helps babies piece together sounds that are important and thus develop language skills.
8. TV doesn’t help development
This is because babies respond to things that respond to them.
9. Baby brains can be overwhelmed
Being able to calm down and sleep may enhance skill development in babies 12 months and older.
10.Babies don’t respond to sounds like adults do
Children find it harder to distinguish voices from background noise which is why they don’t necessarily respond to adults talking to them. This is also why it is important not to have music or TV constantly running in the background.
11. Babies need more than Mom and Dad
“According to research presented in the journal Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development in 1995, children seem to do best when they have at least three adults who consistently send the message: Hey kid, I got you.”