Joseph Munoz
by on September 6, 2022  in Baby Education / Let's Talk Baby /
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A child is born with about 100 billion brain cells (neurons). At birth, the average baby's brain is about a quarter of the size of the average adult brain. Incredibly, it doubles in size in the first year and keeps growing to about 80% of adult size by age 3 and 90%, nearly full grown, by age 5. Most of the neurons in your brain were created before you were born. But some areas of the brain make new neurons after birth in a process called postnatal neurogenesis. A few areas, including the cerebellum and the prefrontal cortex, continue adding new neurons in infancy.

In fact, a fetus' brain produces roughly twice as many neurons as it will eventually need — a safety margin that gives newborns the best possible chance of coming into the world with healthy brains. Most of the excess neurons are shed in utero. At birth, an infant has roughly 100 billion brain cells. At 28 weeks, a baby develops senses of hearing, smell, and touch are developed and functional. At 28-39 weeks, the brain triples in weight, and deep grooves develop in the cerebrum to allow more surface area for brain neurons. Myelin starts to develop along some neural pathways.

The most active period of baby brain development takes place during the middle of the second trimester when 250,000 neurons are created every minute. Children's brains develop in spurts called critical periods. The first occurs around age 2, with the second one occurring during adolescence. At the start of these periods, the number of connections (synapses) between brain cells (neurons) doubles. Two-year-olds have twice as many synapses as adults. Children are more likely to experience abuse and neglect during their first three years of life than at any other age. 

Because a child's developing brain is most flexible during the earliest months and years of life, this time period sets the foundation for lifelong health and well-being. In the first five years of life, experiences and relationships stimulate children's development, creating millions of connections in their brains. In fact, children's brains develop connections faster in the first five years than at any other time in their lives. One of the main reasons is how fast the brain grows starting before birth and continuing into early childhood. Although the brain continues to develop and change into adulthood, the first 8 years can build a foundation for future learning, health and life success. 

Although the majority of neurons are already present in our brains by the time we are born, there is evidence to support that neurogenesis (the scientific word for the birth of neurons) is a lifelong process. The least developed part of the brain is the cortex, which helps in perception, body movement, thinking, and learning. The hippocampus is a brain structure thought to be crucially involved in the formation of memory for facts and events. At birth and in early childhood this structure is not fully grown, and so the memory of birth is unlikely.

Research has shown that, during pregnancy, your baby feels what you feel—and with the same intensity. That means if you're crying, your baby feels the same emotion as if it's their own. During the gestational period, your baby is preparing itself for life in the outside world. Starting from birth, children develop brain connections through their everyday experiences. They're built through positive interactions with their parents and caregivers and by using their senses to interact with the world.

Read The Importance Of Reading Book To Your Baby On Early Age and Genius And Gifted Child In The Making

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