For new parents the arrival of the newborn brings a lot of excitement in their lives. They might look fragile and vulnerable, which they are, but there are some surprising things babies can do, much to the delightful fun of many people.
Most babies can do the following surprising things to us:
1. They can hear everything! Babies hear extremely well: they receive up to 20 000 vibrations per minute, while adults receive only 14 000. The fetus starts to react to sounds since the beginning of the 24th week of pregnancy and a week after delivery they easily distinguish their mother’s voice from the voice of other people.
2. In the case of distinguishing from the mother tongue and a foreign language, the mimic plays an important part for babies. In USA, a test was made: to some babies a videotape recorded in English but with no sound was played. Later on, another tape without sound was played, but recorded in French. The babies showed clearly more interest to the French videotape than to the one recorded in their mother tongue because they considered familiar the English tape. Unfortunately this ability is lost after the age of 6 months.
3. Prattling with the hands. Studies have shown that babies who grow up confronted with a sign language also try to communicate with their hands. They do it (like in the case of learning foreign languages) slow and unsteady at the beginning-they prattle with the hands!
4. I’m watching you mummy! Long before humans can speak they understand what others say. It seems that babies understand through observing the mimic of the nearby persons. So, mummy, be careful when you say something!
5. The older they are the smarter they get? That’s what we think. Researchers have discovered that as we pass through the life we lose some of our abilities, especially the ability of learning. This ability is most effective at the age of 6 months. So, the idea that they are young and they can not or do not know is just an illusion.
6. I’m just like you daddy! During the first days of life the new generation seems to resemble to the father. This is only a joke nature plays: it has decided that so all fathers in the world –long before genetic tests were invented- could recognize their babies and take care of them and their mothers.
7. Little Einstein. ‘Mary has 21 candies and gets another 19. Tommy has 51. Who has more candies?’ Of course, who knows how to add knows the answer. Here’s what tests say: even some children who do not know how to add can indicate the right answer. They have a great intuition!
8. What are you looking at?! It is not difficult at all for grownups to distinguish human faces from one another even if they might look alike. Still, when we have to distinguish between two resembling figures of monkeys we are totally unable. Not the same thing happens to the babies. Tests have proven that they possess this ability, but they lose it in time.
9. They can taste and smell and have shown preferences for their own mother’s.