14 Nov Babies are fascinating
I am fortunate that when I go into a classroom, I have the time to connect with each child in the room and not feel rushed. I am not hurrying to perform a task or need to be somewhere else in a few minutes. I go into the classroom to see how the program is doing, what opportunities for improvement we have and get to know the teachers.
Recently I was spending some time with the babies. The range was 6 months to 12 months. Some of them were unsure of me because they are developing stranger anxiety. Some thought I was funny because I am loud and sing silly songs or play with toys differently than their teachers.
Did you know that babies brains grow very rapidly. Their brain doubles in their first year of life. When I am going through orientation with a new staff I have them stop for a second and think about what happens to a baby in the first year. They were born without the ability to even hold their head up with their necks so immature. Approaching their first birthday, most of them are close to/if not already walking. What an incredible first year. A healthy baby will emerge from the womb with 100 billion neurons, nearly twice as many neurons as adults, in a brain that’s half the size.
Did you know that they can hear and smell as good as adults can? They are taking in their environment at fascinating rates. Babies as young as 7 months can mirror other’s behavior, they also can sense when someone is angry as young as 12 months old.
The final part of spending time with the babies, after I got in all my cuddles in, was watching the language instruction. It was as fascinating as it was years ago when I was doing it. All babies are capable of learning any languages at birth and those that are exposed to two ore more are found to have better executive function later in life and control their attention. Babies (and children under the age of five) do not have the reasoning that adults have to confuse the different languages.