Oh baby, baby. With millions of babies born every year, and given the fact that we all began as babies, we thought that we should bring you a list of things you just may not know about them. Babies are basically little superhumans, and it’sdue time that we give them the recognition these adorable little creatures deserve. Here we present to you a list of Remarkable and Adorable Facts About Babies.
All the Reflexes
Evolution lends babies lots of reflexes, and by lots, we mean right around seventy. Long before they gain the ability to walk, parents will notice that if they stand a baby up and support their weight, they appear to walk. That’s because babies are born with a stepping reflex and with the inherent knowledge of how walking works, they just can’t do it yet because they’re not developed enough.
The startle reflex makes a baby seem terrified of every little thing that makes a noise or crosses their field of vision, but it’s just their natural response to loud noises. A baby’s most sensitive touch receptors are located around or inside of their mouths, which is why they naturally gravitate toward putting anything they can get their hands on inside their little mouth. They seem like small balls of cute and reflexes, which is pretty much what they are when they’re super young.
These markings are probably more common on tiny humans than one might think: around 80% of babies are born with birthmarks, with stork bites—pale, pink markings on a baby’s face or back of their neck—and port wine stains being the most common.
Birthmarks can come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, though, and can be found on any part of their bodies and they occur when little, itty-bitty blood vessels are dilated during birth. Sometimes they take weeks to show up on a newborn baby’s skin, and other times they can go away completely after a few years.
An Ear for Music
The University of Helsinki conducted research that produced some pretty neat results: babies who have heard certain songs while in the womb can continue to recognize the music for months after birth. The songs the baby’s parents listened to while he/she was in the womb may even help settle the little one down as it is comforting to hear things they are familiar with. In fact, babies love listening to rhythms, songs, and music in general and the effects produced are amazing on a baby’s brain.
Super Cute Little Things
Have you ever looked at a baby and just wanted to squeeze and pinch its little cheeks? Researchers have found that the smell of a newborn baby’s head may have something to do with the sensation. The scent of the newborn apparently activates the same reward circuits in the brains of women that food and addictive substances do. Parents are evolutionarily drawn to their children and the cuteness of the little things so that they care for them and give them the attention needed for survival.
Alison Gopnik, a Berkeley professor of psychology, wrote a book titled The Philosophical Baby, where she described babies as having a “lantern consciousness” versus the “attention spotlight” seen in adults. This means that babies, unlike adults, focus on a little bit of everything at once. Adults tend to focus their attention on one, single important thing, while babies just notice everything going on around them. Most adults think that children just can’t stay focused or pay attention to everything, but this is where they’re wrong. Children are often just noticing everything going on around them, all at once, and it helps with imagination, creativity, and learning.
Before a baby can speak, they typically will be able to communicate a lot of what they want or need through the use of their body parts. They wave, gesture, clap, point, and use various other ways to communicate something they’re dying to tell you. Some studies show that babies who learn how to communicate physically, and the more they do so, may be better off using their verbal communication skills in the future.
Although you may notice some newborn babies with a big grin on their face, typically the smile isn’t the real, genuine article; babies can typically smile even inside the womb, but these are known as reflex smiles. Usually, the first real smiles a baby gives come between one-and-a-half and three-months-old, and they come on for a variety of reasons.
Music or hearing a parents voice is usually the first cause of a real smile in a baby, and over time they begin to react with adorable little grins to things they see, funny faces, and even people they don’t know. They also start to laugh around three to four months and laugh roughly 300 times a day; if you’re anything like us, those cute little giggles are enough to make your day.