- Babies are born with 100 billion brain cells!! However, they are not very joined up. As children learn and develop, these cells will become increasingly networked.
- Between the time he is born and his first birthday, a baby’s brain will grow to about two and a half times the size it was when he was born!
- The best thing you can do to stimulate brain development is offering a baby a variety of new experiences that involve all senses — touch, taste, smell, hearing, and vision. That is one of the reasons we have such a wide range of activities and why we place such an emphasis on using all our senses, particularly in the baby classes.
- A child’s brain actually physically changes with every new experience. New neural circuits are strengthened every time a child is excited, actually transforming the structure of the brain.
- Babies begin hearing in the womb, especially during the third trimester – they can hear their mother’s heartbeat, voices and music. Young babies have very sophisticated hearing and can work out where a sound is coming from just 10 minutes after being born
- Babies can see colours but find it hard to see the difference between similar ones. This starts to change around 4 months. That’s why they find looking at high-contrast colours, such as black and white, so much easier.
- Touch stimulates the production of growth-promoting hormones and helps the body become more responsive to these hormones, making it easier for babies to gain weight, particularly premature babies.
- Babies start to absorb the rhythm and cadence of speech in the womb.
- Narrating your actions to a baby helps develop important communicative skills. Studies suggest that the more words a baby is exposed to, the more they are likely to learn and retain.
- By the age of 2, a typical child will have around 50 words, although some have much more. These will be mainly names, including items around the house (bed, door, chair), animals, (dog, cat, bird, fish), food items, and familiar people. They may be learning one or more words every day at this point and can usually combine them in short sentences.
- Three to 4-month-old babies will typically begin vocalising vowel sounds as their first utterances – ahh and ooh.
- At 12 months a baby is typically about three times the weight and twice the length they were at birth! They change and grow more in their first year than ever again.
- Generally speaking, children first gain control of their head and neck (around 2 months), then their arms and hands (grasping begins around 3 months), their trunk (most babies sit well by 8 months), and finally their legs and feet (most children walk by 14 to 15 months).
- Fine motor skills are developed by the use of small muscle groups in baby’s hands, fingers, and toes. Gross motor skills control the limbs, trunk, and whole body movements.
- Babies don’t recognise themselves. but the image of a lively baby is interesting to them.
You can view our Children Development video here
One of our competitors, Baby Sensory, specialise in developmental activities for babies. They currently have a very good video on their website summarising how activities help young children which you might find useful. They are doing nothing different from what we cover in class and of course we offer so much more through music and creativity, not to mention a curriculum which continues to 4.