Teddy Bear Day Care – Ypsilanti

Teddy Bear Day Care and Learning Center

Incredible Infants!

by Leslie - May 1st, 2013.
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Welcome to the start of a new blog series on child development! Each month I will focus on one developmental stage, what it looks like, how we can best support it, and some of the challenges that come along with it. I figured there’s no better place to start than with infants, so here we go.

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Here are some of my favorite statistics and pieces of research on infants:

  • It is believed that the human gestation period is based on the biological mom’s metabolism. Female bodies can only burn so many calories in a day, and they give birth right before they hit that limit. Read more about this research here.

  • The prefrontal cortex–sometimes referred to as the “CEO of the brain”–is one of the last regions to reach maturation (typically in one’s early twenties). This implies that we should not be worried about disciplining infants or giving them too much attention, as they are not able to process these concepts. Instead, we should be responsive to their needs and teach them what it feels to have those needs met (i.e., spoil them like crazy).

  • Baby talk is important! It’s not what we say to infants, but how we say it. A big name in baby brain research, Alison Gopnick, has found that even if a speaker is using a foreign language, infants still respond to that high pitched talk, or “parentese”. Gopnick & Meltzoff’s book, The Scientist in the Crib, is a great place to learn more about this.

  • Conversely, infant’s babbles are very important. These babbles play a role in their socialization, as it can be a tool for interaction between caregiver and infant. But it is also a problem-solving activity: it helps them learn how to make specific sounds used in their native language. Research has shown that parents respond to infants’ babbles 50 to 60% of the time; however language development can be sped up when they are responded to at least 80% of the time. You can read more about some of the research being done on this topic here.

  • Ever wonder why your baby can sleep through the loudest of situations? While the inner ear canal is usually fully developed by the 20th week of pregnancy, infants don’t refine their listening skills until later on in the first year.

  • Have you heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”? Research has supported this by showing that kids who have at least three adult primary caregivers (Mom, Dad, Teacher, etc.) are better at reading facial expressions and perspective taking.

Thanks for listening! I’m looking forward to exploring more about incredible infants with each of you.

 

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