Baby Brain and Emotional Development – 2-3 First Years
Your days have become so much brighter since your baby comes. His screams surround the house, but he gives a feeling of happiness. Everyone in the family is happy.
If you are a parent for the first time, you should think about the development of your baby. How fast will he grow? Does he eat enough? How long does he sleep in those first months of his life?
There are many questions that might cross your mind. But before you read the section on physical development, it is best that you take some time to learn more about his brain development. You will be surprised that the brain of a baby can grow incredibly quickly and play a significant role in the life of a baby.
The development of the brain
Some people think that the brain of a baby develops immediately after birth. Surprisingly, the brains of a baby begin to develop immediately after conception. At the birth of a baby, his brain has evolved a lot, although its development is still ongoing.
The volume of the brain
About volume, the brain of a newborn is about a quarter of the weight and size of an adult brain. Consisting of about 100 billion neurons or nerve cells at the time of birth, this number corresponds to what a baby will have all his life.
At the time of birth, the lower parts of the brain (the spinal cord and brainstem) have already been developed. The roles of these domains are:
- manageable essential vital functions such as breathing, blood pressure, heart rate, and REM sleep.
- manage all congenital reflexes (crying, scaring and breastfeeding).
- responsible for the baby’s emotions, especially his fear or calm.
Meanwhile, the upper parts of the brain (cerebral cortex and limbic system) are quite unripe at the time of birth. They still have a long way to go in their development process. All neurons in these regions are weakly connected.
Most of these compounds are made after birth. The cerebral cortex is the highest and most advanced part of the brain. He is responsible for all our thoughts, feelings, memories and voluntary actions. When the links between the cerebral cortex are formed, a baby receives many mental stages, such as color vision, a gripper or strong attachment to his parents.
Improving the development of these compounds is important. It probably depends on the amount of interaction between you and your baby. Communicating with him is the most important way to help your baby. You have to talk to him and sing for him, play with him, kiss him and cuddle him. You have to create an environment that is rich in stimulation, comfort, and loving attention. Why because it will significantly improve the development of your baby’s growth and intelligence.
Newborns may have some memory capacity due to the hippocampus. This important structure is located deep in the brain, under the cerebral cortex, which helps the development of your baby – it helps to control the memory.
The back of the head, which is located near the back of the head, then regulates vision and visual recognition. This part is fully developed at the age of 8 months.
Last but not least, located near the crown of the head, the parietal lobe of the brain regulates taste, touch, ability to recognize objects, eye-hand coordination and some visual recognition. This part of the brain is properly developed in the newborn. Environmental stimulation is important for its further development.
The growth of a baby is highest in its first year, especially in the first few months. A baby usually doubles her birth weight in the first 3-4 months and triples the birth weight by 1 year. The learning process also starts shortly after birth, and the baby goes through many physical steps in the first month.
Growth and appearance
By the middle of the first month, your baby will take about one and a half pounds (about 14 to 28 g (½ to 1 oz) per day) and grow about 2.5 to 3.7 cm (1 to 1½ inches). Your health care provider takes these precautions during child health visits and plots the numbers on percentile curves. These graphs help determine if it grows at the usual and expected rate.
Your baby’s head will probably have an average diameter of 1.25-1.5 cm in the first month. Increasing the size of the head leaves room for his brain, which develops and grows. His legs begin to straighten from the bent position to the inside of his birth time. His fingers also start to release their tight grip on the newborn.
Baby’s eyes can now follow objects
In the first days of life, babies can only concentrate on objects of 8 to 15 inches apart. By the end of the first month, most babies can concentrate on objects about three meters away.
By the time your baby is six months old their vision should have improved from about 20/400 at birth to approximately 20/25. They can now see colors as well as an adult.
The feeling of baby’s hearing during the first month
Your baby will begin to recognize your voice and will respond by turning his head toward the sound, producing the throat sounds and moving the arms and legs.
Can recognize certain odors
Your baby will be able to recognize certain odors in her first month, for example, the smell of your breast milk.
Your baby will learn to soothe him by sucking on his thumb. He even learned to suck before birth. Prenatal ultrasounds often allow babies to suck their thumbs or fingers.
The stomach of a newborn baby is less than ¼ cup. Because babies can eat very little at the same time, they want to be fed every 2 to 3 hours of the day and can sleep between 3 and 4 hours between the evening meals. Eating and sleeping habits of newborns are irregular, and sometimes it takes about three months before they follow a regular schedule. Most babies can come off shortly after feeding because the sphincter of their heart valve at the top of the stomach is not yet fully developed.
Your baby usually sleeps more than 15 hours a day and usually takes small naps. He will probably wake up three or more times at night until he settles. You will notice that it smiles spontaneously and not selectively during sleep.
How does the brain develop in the first 2-3 years?
The brains of a child experience an incredible period of development, from birth to three years – producing more than one million neural connections per second.
In the past decade, an explosion of research has shown how important the first years of a child’s life are for the development of the brain.
A newborn has at birth most brain cells that we will have our entire life, but relatively few connections, the circuits between different cells. What happens very quickly is that the brain builds connections, it creates synapses (connections). A baby forms 700 new neural connections per second in the first years of life. The experiences of life strongly influence this process of constructing the architecture of the brain. It is not genetically wired. Our environment forms the architecture of our brains during the first year of life what we call neuroplasticity.
The linking process is biologically oriented, but the experiments also promote synapse formation. The brain produces many more synapses than it will eventually use. The researchers describe this process as synaptic overproduction. This rapid synapse formation continues into early childhood. The process of myelination (the coating of nerve fibers by the myelin sheath causes pulses to be treated faster), also continues during early childhood and is the root cause of an increase in the size of a child’s brain. During the first four years of life, the brain reaches 80% of the adult weight, between 1,200 and 1,500 grams.
Pruning (the elimination of unused nerve fibers) is a key process that forms the brains of young children. Synaptic overproduction causes the extremely rapid development of synapses. The pruning process refines these connections based on experience. Compounds that are used regularly become stronger and more complex. Unused compounds are considered non-essential, and the brain eliminates them to increase their effectiveness.
During the first years, the brain fortified connections for sounds in the languages that made the process. Over time, the brain eliminates connections for other sounds. That is why the brain of a baby depends on the responsiveness of adults. In this case, you can do some good things – gurgles, sounds, and smiles – your responds will help to shape the brain circuits. The first sound that a newborn baby hears is the voice of his mother. Hence this is the reason in adulthood, when we listen to the voice of our mother, that it has a calming effect.