Understand your little one better with these amazing baby facts.
- Babies are always listening — even before they’re born. Even a baby as young as two days old will recognize his mother’s voice, even if he only hears one single syllable.
- New-borns cry an awful lot, but have you noticed they can’t shed tears? They don’t have functional tear ducts until they’re between three and twelve weeks old. (They can, however, produce “basal tears,” the non-emotional tears we produce constantly to keep our eyes moist.)
- If you X-ray a baby’s legs, you likely won’t see anything where the kneecaps should be. Even if you spot something, it’ll just be small, smudgy spots. The reason is that – all bones start off as cartilage, and they harden, or ossify, over time. Kneecaps take an especially long time to form (from three to five years) and because cartilage doesn’t show up on X-rays, babies appear to have no kneecaps. That lack of hard kneecaps is a good thing, because the spongy tissue serves to absorb some of the abuse toddlers take during their crawling months and from their frequent falls.
- Your baby has a specific cry. You can recognize it just three days after the birth. Researchers have found that a new mother can pick out her baby’s individual cry even if there are other crying babies in the room.
- The scientists in Norway found that if a new-born is placed directly onto their mother’s stomach right after birth, the baby will start to use their arms and legs to slowly crawl to their mother’s breast to nurse. The new-born then latched on and started to nurse unassisted.
- New-born babies can only see clearly about 20cm to 30cm (8in to 12in) in front of their faces. Everything else is a blur of light, shape and movement. Fortunately, this is the perfect distance for your baby to gaze into your eyes as you feed them.
By the time your baby’s one month or two months old, they will be able to focus their eyes on a toy when you move it in front of their face. And by the end of the fourth trimester, they’ll be able to see close-up colours and shapes much more clearly.
- A baby can recognize the smell and voice of its mother at birth. It takes a few weeks before a baby can see the difference between their mother and other adults.
- Your baby loves the sound of human speech. This is part of the reason why their early language includes imitating words of others.
- When babies are very young, their sense of smell is quite developed. It’s much stronger than yours. A new-born uses their sense of smell to get to know their parents. It is advisable to avoid strong smells like fabric softener, perfume, etc to help your baby know who you are.
- Your baby is connected to your emotions and your feelings even before they are born. Researchers had pregnant women listen to different types of music via headphones and then tracked their baby’s movements with an ultrasound. If the mother was listening to music that she enjoyed, the babies moved around more. While many babies move around when music is playing, the headphones meant that the babies were responding to their mother’s emotions and not the music itself.
- Babies use their sense of touch to explore what is around them, with the most sensitive touch receptors are in and around his mouth. The mouth area is the first to become sensitive, which is why they put everything in their mouth.
- Yes! You heard that right. Your baby cries in your accent. A research team from the University of Wurzburg found that babies pick their mother’s native tongue in the last three months of pregnancy. They even reflect the characteristics of their mother tongue in the pattern of their cries after birth. So, you can tell the difference between German, French and English babies just by their cries and gurgles.
- When the babies are in the womb, they absorb their mother’s hormones. So, after the babies are born, they still have some estrogen to sort through. So, female babies shed their uterine lining, lactate a bit and even have a mini period.
- Babies do not wait until they are outside the womb to start sucking their thumb. There are people who have witnessed beautiful pictures of their baby sucking their thumb in the ultrasound.
- You baby shares their birthday with at least 9 million people in the world.
- Babies born in May usually weigh on average 200 grams more than babies born in other months.
- In four or five out of every 100 new-born babies, there is discharge of milk from the nipples. This is due to unusually high levels of the mother’s hormones that leak across the placenta during pregnancy. Premature babies never have this discharge, only those who are full term.
- The grasp of a new-born baby is so strong that its whole body can hang in mid-air, with its bent fingers supporting its weight.
- Up until 7 months old, a baby can breathe and swallow at the same time.
- The term “infant” is from the Latin word ‘infans’, meaning “unable to speak” and typically refers to the ages from 1-12 months.
- Young babies are born with a well-developed sense of taste, but not for salt. Studies show that babies can’t taste salt until they’re about four months old. They can taste other flavors as well as adults can, especially sweet, bitter, and sour flavors.
- Psychologists believe that a baby’s self-awareness develops around 12 months old.
- A new-born baby has just about one cup of blood in its body.
- Human babies are the only primates who smile at their parents.
- Famous premature babies include Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Mark Twain, Stevie Wonder, Johannes Kepler, and Sir Winston Churchill.
Also read: New-born baby care essential kit