The general impression we have about babies is that they are cute, cuddly, like a blank paper waiting for us to fill in the colours.
However, recent studies suggest otherwise. It has been found that there are many things babies can do which we never thought they could.
The Top 10 things babies can do beyond our belief:
1. They can understand black and white: Yes, babies do understand the difference between black and white.
As per a research by The University of Washington in Seattle, babies aged 15 months tend to choose their favourites based on skin colour.
“Infants aged 15 months normally choose a playmate who is perceived as being fair, sharing toys equally for example, regardless of that person’s colour. But if a baby sees a person of the same race as them unfairly distribute toys in a way that benefits another of their race then the baby wants to be playmates with that person.
Babies are also more likely to help those of their ethnicity, an effect known as in-group bias, where people favour those with the same characteristics,” said a report by The Daily Telegraph.
2. Newborns don’t shed tears:
Well, babies might be synonymous with their cries, but they don’t shed tears.
“Although the tear ducts and glands are working, they produce just enough tears to lubricate and protect your baby’s eyes. Look for those teardrops to start flowing between 1 and 3 months,” said Disney Baby.
3. They can tell right from wrong:
By the time they are six months old, babies can differentiate between good and bad.
“Even infants as young as three months — who were not yet old enough to play with puppets like the older babies — spent more time looking at the nice puppet, showing that an appreciation of good and bad behavior is in place just 12 weeks after birth,” according to a report by The Huffington Post.
4. Have more bones than adults:
At the time of birth, a baby has 270 bones, which gradually are reduced to 206 after fusion of the spine and skull.
5. They inhale more number of times than adults:
A baby normally breathes about 40 times a minute, versus an adult who breathes between 12 and 20.
6. Newborns are nearsighted:
Newborns can reportedly only see people and objects placed within 8 to 12 from them.
7. They gain twice their body weight by 5 months:
“Babies will double their birth-weight by the time they hit 5 months of age,” said Disney Baby.
8. They can hear all sound frequencies simultaneously:
Babies can actually hear all sound frequencies at the same time and can even differentiate between speeches and other sounds.
University of Washington scientist Lynne Werner said: Babies have a different way of listening to the world. In real life we are confronted with a variety of sounds. Somehow the adult brain takes all sounds we hear and separates them into where they are coming from and then focuses on the one we want to hear.
Adults usually hear in a narrow band of sound, while babies seem to use a different approach. They don’t have the selective attention of adults and they don’t pay attention all of the time. Instead they always seem to be listening broadband or to all frequencies simultaneously.”
9. They can crawl immediately after birth:
Believe it or not, newborns can crawl as soon as they arrive! During an experiment, a newborn was dried and put on its mother lap. Every one was surprised to see that the baby managed to crawl up to its mother for its first feeding all by itself.
10. They can recognize their mother’s voice at birth:
Though the middle ear is still full of fluid, a newborn can recognize its mother’s voice and hence responds to it above all other.
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.