It’s a fair assumption that you already know some things about babies. You’ve been told that babies take time to recognize people. You know that they understand, instinctually, who their mothers are within moments of being born. Most people understand that each baby will develop at his or her own pace. Baby’s do not follow a pre-set schedule for milestones. The fact is that most people do not quite grasp just how intricate a baby’s development really is. Human development is fascinating but infancy is mesmerizing. Even within the first few years of a person’s life there are millions of fascinating changes. It doesn’t look like babies do all that much in their first years of life but beneath that calm (and sometimes fussy) exterior is a factory that is working like mad to grow, change and develop!

Babies can sense light changes even in the womb. The eyes are complicated devices that are made up of millions of nerves and fibers. The sheer coordination needed for your eyes to function correctly will astound you. Babies have functioning eyes by just a few months after they are conceived. Sensitivity to light is displayed as early as the end of the second trimester. Just because your baby is born with blue eyes does not mean that they will be blue forever: it takes a few months for your baby’s real eye color to become apparent. The blue color in your baby’s eyes will probably change if you are Caucasian. So do what you can not to let your heart get set on having a blue eyed child. That color will probably change. Most babies are born knowing instinctually how to swim and how to hold their breath. It won’t be long before your baby forgets how to do these things. Because babies are born knowing these things, many people believe that women should have water births. Swimming from the womb into life is supposed to make the transition of being born less traumatic for the infant. “Traditional” birthing in a hospital room is believed to be one of the reasons that babies have such a hard time adjusting to life outside of mom: the harsh transition is too traumatic.

Most people think that babies do not learn how to smile until a few weeks after they are born. Gas is usually given credit for the first signs of smiling in a baby’s life. For decades most people believed that babies had to learn how to smile-that it was a condition picked up by the infant early in life. Disapproval and unhappiness were thought to be easier for a baby to express than happiness. Now, however, these theories are being debunked. As ultrasound technology advances, people are seeing their children smile while they are still in utero. Many doctors are now able to print out pictures for families that show the new baby smiling before he or she is born. Now scientists and doctors believe the reason babies do not smile for a while after they are born is because the process of being born is too traumatic.

There are all sorts of great baby facts that are not part of most people’s common knowledge. The development of infants is fascinating. Learning what is going on with your baby as he grows up will make the process even more rewarding.

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