I got my latest Parents magazine the other day and have been browsing it. It’s too “fluffy” and mainstream for me, but I usually get at least one good idea (for snacks or something) and have several things to argue, which is fun too! But in this [you can’t really call it an “article” since it’s so small, but I don’t have a better word], there were some interesting things, taken from a new book called Amazing Baby by Desmond Morris. (I’ve never heard of him; the first link is to Amazon and the second is a YouTube video of him discussing the book.)
- During the nine months between conception and birth, a baby’s weight increases 3,000 million times. [I’ve read somewhere, years ago, that if the baby grew at the same rate as it does in the first few days post-conception — doubling in size every day, I think — that by the time of birth, it would be as big as the sun. Fortunately, the baby does not double in size every day, but instead increases in size but more importantly in complexity.]
- Between birth and age 2, an infant will quadruple in size. [I’m not sure how they measure this — my two-year-old son is certainly not four times as tall as he was at birth, but he is probably four times the weight. There is also girth — how big around he is — which I also don’t think is four times as big…]
- 3. At birth, a baby’s brain is 10 percent of her total body weight. [I just recently read that one of the potential problems with babies born even slightly preterm (or possibly born at term, but before going into labor naturally — but that’s another argument entirely) increase their brain weight a staggering amount in just a few weeks leading up to birth, which is another good reason to let babies stay on the inside until ready to be born, unless there is a valid medical reason to take them out early.]
- Within 45 hours of birth, a newborn knows her own mother by her smell. (And a blindfolded mom can identify her own child from a host of other babies by scent alone.) [I’ve heard that newborns know their moms at birth, rather than within two days — the amniotic fluid has the mother’s scent in it, which the baby recognizes from being bathed in it for all of its life, which is why many natural-birthing women will request that the baby not be bathed immediately, to allow the baby to associate the smell on his hands (which he will put in his mouth, usually) with the mother’s skin (typically the breast). I’ve seen on video a baby step-crawling up his mother’s abdomen to her breast and self-latching right after birth. But I have not heard that women can identify their babies by scent. That’s pretty cool.]
- At birth, babies have the ability to swim.
- Human babies are the only primates to smile at their parents. [Aren’t humans the only creatures to smile?]
- A newborn has feet that are one third of their adult length. By age one, they are nearly half their adult size. [Hmm, does that mean I can pull out the ink card with my kids’ newborn footprints, measure them, multiply it by three, and start stocking up on their shoes for when they’re 17?]