Now I've Seen Everything
Now I've Seen Everything

12 Cool Things We Could All Do As Babies, and Then We Grew Up and Forgot How

It’s not easy for young parents to accept the fact that they have a tiny person with their own temper, personal preferences, and traits. And even though they seem helpless with some things, they are actually superior to adults.
We have read some facts about the superpowers babies have, and now we’re even more fascinated by them.

Babies can swallow and breathe at the same time. We can’t.

It’s hard for babies to alternate between swallowing and breathing, so nature took care of this problem. Up until 6-7 months, the larynx is located higher than it is in adults, so the airways are safe from liquids and food. But as we grow up, the epiglottis goes down. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t be able to say vowels clearly. So, everything comes at a price.

Babies have almost 100 bones more than we do. And they don’t have kneecaps.

To make childbirth easier, some of the babies bones are separated into several bones. For example, the skull. A newborn has around 300 bones, but many of them grow or fuse together with age. And a solid kneecap forms within the first 6 months from the cartilage tissue.

Some babies sleep with half-open eyes. It might be scary for parents.

Doctors claim that it is totally normal: half-open eyes indicate a baby is in the fast sleep phase. It’s when we see dreams and process information about the world. Adults spend around 25% of their sleep time in this phase, and babies — around 50%. This is how babies train their memory and perfect their nervous system.

  • This is why it’s often difficult for young parents to put their babies to sleep — because the fast-sleep phase in babies is long.

Newborns can taste things better than adults (for an unusual reason).

Infants have around 30,000 taste buds spread throughout their mouths. And adults have only 10,000. Some scientists think that this number of taste buds is necessary for them to explore the world around them. By licking objects, babies might not just be experiencing the taste. According to the theory of synesthesia, the stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. For example, when people see the color of music or can smell words. Something like this happens to infants.

  • Due to a huge number of neurons and taste buds, by simply licking toys, hands, and other objects, babies get a lot more information than adults. And as we get older, we get rid of the useless neuron connections and start to perceive the world in “the usual” way.

Infants have more neural connections than adults.

Infants are born with 100 million neural connections in the brain. This is 2 times more than adults have, even though babies have much smaller brains. So, in a way, they think more than their parents: during the first year of life, they need to process a giant amount of information. But by the age of 3, the brain gets rid of the extra connections to optimize its work.

  • If the synapses are not cut off, as planned, the person might become a genius, autistic, or even schizophrenic.

When an adult is cold, they shiver, and babies don’t.

Babies don’t shiver when they are cold. They have a special way that they control thermal regulation: 5% of the body is brown adipose tissue. It protects them from hypothermia, so babies are less sensitive to the cold than adults.

  • If you notice a baby shivering, it might be an indicator of neurological problems or an indication that the baby is simply hungry.

Newborns don’t sweat and cry without tears.

During the first weeks of life, babies cry without tears and almost don’t sweat. It’s because the tear ducts and sweat glands are not fully developed yet. In our bodies, there are 2 types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. The apocrine glands become active in the teenage years, and the accrine glands — a few weeks after birth.

  • So, it’s very important to make sure the baby doesn’t overheat. It’s dangerous to use too many sheets, since babies can’t cool themselves down yet.

Babies manipulate their mothers through chemical impulses.

Babies can activate the pleasure centers in their mother’s brains. When a woman smells her baby, a complex chemical reaction starts, and dopamine is injected into the blood, which is a pleasure hormone. We feel the same thing when we eat after being hungry or drink when we are thirsty.

  • Babies can manipulate not only their moms: their smell even affects women who have no kids, but not as strongly.

Babies can change eye color, but it won’t happen to everyone.

Babies can’t change eye color. Some babies are born with blue eyes, but they don’t last for long. Melanin is not produced in our body right away and parents can only guess what eye color the baby will have, with one exception.

  • Brown-eyed babies won’t change their eye color: they have enough melanin in their bodies already. And blue-eyed babies will have green or brown eyes, 4 times out of 5.

50% of babies have birthmarks when they are born.

Red spots on the nose, around the eyes, and on the back of the head are seen in almost 50% of newborns. They are called stork bites and angel kisses. These spots become brighter when a baby is crying or screaming. They are dilated blood vessels under their thin skin. In most cases, they are not dangerous, nor do they disappear.

  • A stork bite can become visible when it’s hot in older age. It doesn’t require any medical attention.

All babies are gold. Literally.

In tiny amounts, there’s gold in the soil, water, plants, and even the human body. On average, we have 0.2 mg of pure gold in our bodies. But babies have 2 times more gold in their hair than in the earth’s crust.

  • Experts believe that this high concentration of gold forms due to breastfeeding, and by 3 months, it becomes normal.

At 6 months, babies already know what’s good and what’s bad.

Sigmund Freud thought that babies were born morally empty, but the studies of Yale psychologist Paul Bloom prove than even 3-month-old babies can tell good things from bad ones and evaluate them in a way.

Parenting practices are always changing. Just 100 years ago, parents didn’t worry much when kids would get dirty or eat something off the floor. Modern moms and dads prefer not to risk their children’s health and react to every single baby sneeze. But there are some people that still raise kids “the old fashioned way.” Which way do you prefer?

Now I've Seen Everything/Science/12 Cool Things We Could All Do As Babies, and Then We Grew Up and Forgot How
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