Scientists venture into the ways walking changes a baby’s world and unveil findings on neonatal reflexes, skeletal development and talking.
Watching these videos has impressed upon me how difficult it is to change traditional thinking in the medical establishment. Ideas that seem so matter of fact are struggled against consistently.
In this video researchers contemplate the changes in life accompanied for both parent and child once baby has begun walking. Certainly walking is a major milestone in the lives of infants. It allows them previously unexperienced independence. Now they can get to the things that interest them. Ha! For parents it is both a wonderful and terrifying experience. Now their little one has to be watched 24/7 or corralled. Ha!
What are the motivators for babies in taking those exciting first steps? As we learned in the video on crawling the basic instinct and motion for walking as well is crawling is present at birth! Newborns as young as three weeks of age were recorded in the laboratory presenting all the motions necessary for walking at the Virje Universiteit, Amsterdam Netherlands, by Nadia Dominici. Associate Professor Dept. of Human Movement Sciences.
Electrodes were places under stockings to measure muscle movement and strength. Babies universally knew exactly what to do physically. It is only gravity keeping them from walking or crawling. This is surprising to those in the scientific community as well as the general public.
Columbia, MO. USA. The Bone Detective
Libby Cowgill Associate Professor Biological Anthropology. U of Missouri, USA
Studied how physical use of body exhibits in remains. Her studies prove the actions of crawling, pulling up at the table, pushing up during tummy time, and walking have great effect on the shaping and strength of infants as they develop.
Her measurement of the bones of infants in museums worldwide show their difference depending upon activity level. She took measurements of over six hundred infants believed to range from 250K years in age to recent times.
Eric Walle, Professor of Developmental Psychology, UC Merced. USA studied the number of words spoken by children between the time they are immobile and learning to walk. The theory is once babies have more control of their environment they engage more. In addition, they see more, hear more words, etc. Personally, I believe they are seen as more interactive by the adults around them. And more verbal action takes place.
Researchers delve into sleep, a dynamic time for babies, with studies on twitching, apps and naps.
As a doula sleep is a very common topic of discussion. The time just after the birth of a baby is tumultuous. The delivery is often long and exhausting. The hospital stay is also tough in that there are nurses and lab techs in and out of your room at all hours. By the time most families are home the first question is when will our baby sleep through the night!!
Working with families to sleep train their little ones is an adventure. These studies look over the sleep patterns of infant brains. The goal is to understand what goes on during sleep. How does it affect your baby’s development, memory, and health? What are reasonable expectations regarding baby nighttime sleep patterns?
The findings from the studies examined in this episode surprised me. Because there are several studies presented I am leaving much of the data in the research form. I think it will be clearer this way.
My goal in working with families of newborns is to have a reasonable sleep schedule for baby by the time my contract is over. I work with baby to sleep in 2 four hour lengths waking up once between 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM. This allows long enough sleep to feel rested. In addition it helps mom to be rested enough to produce breastmilk well.
Studied: What is sleep in newborns doing? Are they learning, growing, remembering? Is sleep necessary?
New York University Baby Sleep Study
Andre Fenton, Director: Neurobiology of Cognition Lab, NYU, USA
Pascal Wallisch. Clinical Assistant Professor Psychology & Neural Science.
NYU. USA Data specialist
Researchers visited families who were using the apps included in the study.
At the start they were unsure about verified data because families were entering it rather than trained scientists. Questions arouse; Is the data authentic and well recorded? Is it in a usable form for research? Is it thorough?
It was found parents were actually verifying information to the minute for their own records. So yes, it was very usable.
Study consisted of 1,000 babies world wide using various apps to record sleep patterns, breastfeeding, elimination habits, and notes parents thought relevant. The number of entries for this particular study are:
1.5 M sleep events
2.5 M eating events
1.5 M diaper changing events
This is the data collected from the families involved. As the researchers perused the data they came to many decisions on the outcome.
Findings: Findings: no regular sleep or eating pattern in the first month
About four months. Initial cycle emerging
Eight months Hint of a pattern
A year clear pattern of sleep at night, wake eat,
after noon nap
At the time the video was released researchers were not yet ready to present information for publishing, but were certain their findings were verifiable.
Experts examine the rhythm and flow of language and explore how babies break down linguistic beats before they know how to speak.
It is fascinating to review the tenants of how we learn language. Children vary widely in when and how they begin to speak. Some dabble with language for a long time before becoming verbal. When they began communicating it is in full sentences, and amazingly clear. Others begin saying words early and quickly begin communicating in other ways. It is an amazing process to observe. I have babies begin trying to communicate as early as three months.
In working with families during the first months of their baby’s life I encourage them to communicate often with their children. I encourage them to speak about the things they love, sharing their passion and excitement with their children even though the words are foreign. Reading to their infants from their favorite magazines or books encourages connection. In my mind it is the connection with baby inspiring language and communication. So many things are part of the communication process. Body language, emotion, and touch contribute to making one’s intentions known. The cadence and sound of language is a part of the whole.
Two Research Studies in this area.
Kathy Hirsh-Paske. Director, Infant Language Lab. Temple University, Philadelphia, Penn. USA
Children begin leaning about language in utero as soon as they can hear. They hear the melody’s of speech continually. They begin communicating through cries, then grunts, hand motions.
Tested for recognition between natural and unnatural patterns of speech. Found babies understood the differences and became board with the normal patterns of speech, preferring the made up patterns.
My own assessment: It is difficult for me to see the recognition and learning researchers claimed. I want a more definitive scientific way of clarifying the baby’s reactions.
Erich Jarvis. Proff. Lab of Neurogenetics of Language. Rockfeller University. USA. Dancer. Turned to science. Why can some animals imitate sound and some can’t? 5 vertebrate animals can. Vocal learners,
3 birds: Humming Birds, parrots, songbirds 5 animals: Elephants, dolphins, bats, seals & humans. Must be able to imitate novel sound
Research began in 1989. Wanted to understand/prove vocal pathways were same as humans. 8 years later. Accidental discovery. Imitating flying stimulated song areas of the brain. Gestures and songs work same part of the brains. For babies. Physical motion stimulates language centers. Like walking it takes time to learn.
From how they grow to how they go, three researchers find out crawling is much more than just a transitional phase.
The qualities of movement are the topic of this video. Why do babies crawl? When do they learn this movement? How do they learn where and when to move in self protection? Fascinating topics of research and even more so for new parents. French researchers studied many babies, realizing they learn the processes but often at different times. Also realizing babies are born with many of their more mature movements in place, they simply lack the strength to practice them!!! The pull of gravity does not allow them the motion they practiced in the womb. When allowed to move freely in water newborns crawl, swim, reach and more. The personality of the baby and his adventuresome spirit have a great effect on when these changes take place.
A second topic of this video is growth rates of newborns/infants. In 1981, Michelle Lampl, a professor at the Center for the Study of Human Health at Emory University, Atlanta, began a study measuring the growth rate of babies weekly. There were 30 babies in the study. Lampl went to the homes of each of the babies measuring them weekly. She found normal growth rates. In order to have more exact measurements she requested funds to measure the 30 subjects twice a week. She found there were several infants who would go many days with no growth then experience a growth spurt. In order to closer verify her findings she believed it necessary to measure the growth rate daily. Her research showed babies do not grow at the rate indicated on the growth charts. Babies would not grow in length at all for several days or even a week. Then they would grow several centimeters in a day! This was hard to believe. Yet, the consistent results and the number of subjects made it undeniable.
In providing the previously discovered research findings to the medical community Lampl was met with great resistance. Trying to change established medical thinking, even when the research is verifiably authentic, is an uphill battle.
Proving babies truly are what they eat, researchers discuss how breast milk, iron and microbes can enrich, nourish and protect offspring.
Scientists were baffled by the reality that, though it is the most preferable fist food for our species, previously there had been almost no research into its individual qualities. This study was created to help with iron deficiencies in babies and their affect on infant memory capability.
Associate professor Katie Hinde, of the School of Human Evolution & Social Change at Arizona State University set out to research the quality and composition of human breastmilk Through massive research on differing types of mammal milk the qualities of human breastmilk have been better understood. Prior to this study research from the 1980’s suggested that human mothers milk was a universal concoction with little variance world wide,
Hinde studied the milk of monkeys due to their biologic proximity to humans. In addition monkeys grow 4 x faster than humans. This allows expedited results.
Using hundreds of samples of monkey milk she discovered mother’s made different recipe of milk depending upon the sex of their baby. For Male babies: richer more energetically dense milk. The belief is this allows for sturdier and faster muscle development. For Female babies: the calcium phosphorus ratio was higher. This is important for bone building. Girls reach adulthood quicker
They also studied for minerals in milk
She was offered study results for 1.5 M dairy cows as information. Due to strict regulation intricate records are kept on dairy cows, their babies, and the quality and composition of their milk. These findings lead Hinde to research the components in human breast milk. Patterns of nutrients in the milk were studies. Scientists measured fat, protein, carbohydrate, milk, and volume produced.
Mother’s milk varies as to the sex of the baby born!!! Its qualities are tailer made for that mother’s baby. It was previously thought that mother’s milk was a universal substance. We have learned so much! There are also many very interesting subjects in this video. I highly recommend it if you plan to breastfeed!
The biology of bonding unravels to reveal how caregiving, social interaction and stress can physically change both parent and newborn. Here we are calling the physical and emotional connection between parent and child love.
The Biology of Bonding:
This episode studies the physical and psychological changes happening in adults as they become parents. Recently there have been many studies on both mommies and daddies investigating these changes. It is clearly understood that women prepare to be mothers during pregnancy. Their bodies go through the many changes hormonally and physically as their deliveries approach. They nest, in preparation for babies arrival. Their breasts prepare to provide colostrum and then milk. Their bodies began to produce hormones facilitating bonding and connection with their children.
Ruth Feldman, Director Center for Developmental Social Neuroscience, IDC Herzliya, Israel. Study lasting 1996 – 2000.
Research re: Oxytocin in bonding between baby and parent
Study: 80 expectant mothers
Oxytocin is present in mother’s through out pregnancy. The hormones released during labor prepare mom for meeting her baby. Even after difficult labors the euphoria present at birth is obvious. There is nothing like it. There is no way to describe it. It simply has to be experienced.
After birth breastfeeding releases numerous hormones promoting bonding, happiness, pleasure, and comfort. This is one of the most important advantages of breastfeeding. It connects mother and child and continues to do so every time baby suckles. Brain scans on these mothers were preformed pre delivery and after. It was discovered that each mothers’ amigdula (within the brain) expanded during the experience of becoming a parent. Within these mothers later MRI’s revealed this process did not reverse itself. Mothers remained as they were shortly after their babies were delivered.
As a result of this study questions regarding the physical and psychological affects of delivery and parenting on men arose. A second study ensued.
Study: 80 expectant fathers
No notable results until after delivery of baby.
This study looked at only Oxytocin, others have measured the notable drop in testosterone in newly delivered fathers. Oxytocin levels were similar to that of mother’s once fathers participated in intimate physical and emotional care if their offspring.
Surprisingly in these studies researchers found as men become fathers they develop hormones and changes connecting them to their offspring. Those investigating discovered numerous physical changes in fathers correlating to the amount of close physical, emotional, and custodial activity they share with their babies. Father’s amigdula grew 25% in relation to mothers.
As a postpartum doula certified through the Doula Association of North America (DONA) I must go through the process of recertification every three years. This process opens me to new literature, studies, videos, and philosophies within the field of infants services. This is really a satisfying activity. But wait, perhaps I am speaking ahead of myself.
Definition: Postpartum doula, a trained infant care specialist providing education, support, encouragement and practical direction to parents of newborns.
The field of infant cares is as old as life itself. Since the the beginning women have supported young mothers and fathers. Grandmas, mothers, aunts, cousins, church members, friends, neighbors and others have some along side new mommies to share their advice and help. The process of becoming parents is so overwhelming, in many ways it is a group project. Having those who have traveled this path before them opens new parents to the world of wise child rearing.
As a professional doula I am able to share the experience of parenthood benefiting new parents, their families, and their babies. It is an incredible privilege. I love my work! The experiences gained in raising my own children (all five of them), supporting friends and relatives in their parenthood adventures, my counseling degree from the University of California, and the numerous families inviting me into their homes to serve them, have provided a myriad of ideas and skills. Pretty much any road new parents will travel has come up somewhere along the way. If not, I have a huge reservior of fellow doulas, midwives, and medical professionals on which to draw.
Anyway, as I began to say, I am studying my craft vigorously in order to hone my skills. As I do this I look for material I believe will aid new parents in their journey. One such gem is a series (2020) developed by Netflix entitled “Babies”. This ten part series discusses many of the topics new parents know they need to understand. Because of it’s massive availability in the market place (220M subscribers worldwide) Netflix is a wonderful tool for doulas like myself. It is easy to access and this series was produced with new parents in mind.
Below find a list and description of the topics covered in the series. I will discuss each in a blog entry to provide you a thumbnail sketch of what is covered. If the subject is of interest to you find the particular video and watch. Know the information is researched and discussed at length. It may run more slowly than preferred, but the content is of great value.
This new series digs deep into the science behind our little ones – here’s everything we know about ‘Babies’ on Netflix Babies is the latest binge-worthy documentary series on our favorite streaming service, Netflix. BY GRACE WALSH. PUBLISHED JUNE 24, 2020
When series one hit Netflix earlier this year, it joined the ranks of binge-worthy viewing on the streaming channel.
The Netflix Babies docu-series follows 15 different newborns from all over the world, as both parents and baby (opens in new tab) begin to navigate their way through the first year of the little one’s life.
Series one taught us about the first year of a baby’s life – everything from the biology of bonding to the role that family pets play in the strengthening of a newborn’s immune system(opens in new tab). And now as series two has landed on Netflix and is available to stream right now, we’re buckling in for another journey through the life of a newborn baby.
Part 1. Episodes:
Love: The biology of bonding unravels to reveal how caregiving, social interaction and stress can physically changeboth parent and newborns.
First Food: Proving babies truly are what they eat, researchers discuss how breast milk, iron and microbes can enrich, nourish and protect offspring.
Crawling: From how they grow to how they go, three scientists find out crawling is much more than just a transitional phase.
First Words: Experts examine the rhythm and flow of language and explore how babies break down linguistic beats before they know how to speak.
Sleep: Researchers delve into sleep, a dynamic time for babies with studies twitching, apps and naps.
First Steps: Scientists venture into the ways walking changes a baby’s world and unveil findings on neonatal reflexes, skeletal development and talking
Part II Episodes:
What Babies Know: Challenging the notion of a blank slate, three studies explore how babies are born with expectation about everyday life.
Movement: From curiosity to understanding: researchers unveil the surprising ways infants learn how to anticipate and respond to the movements of others.
Senses: Several experts make sense of how babies touch, taste and see as they embark on a sensory journey shaping the rest of their lives/
Relationships: A coy smile, a puppet shoe and a ointed finger lead to discoveries in how babies get along with others using humor, morality and shared experiences.
Nature and Nurture: Resolving the debate of nature verses nurture, three scientists show how genetics and environment work together as infants discover who they are.
Toddlers: Researchers reveal the social skill toddlers naturally possess, abilities ultimately separating humans from all other species.
Here are a couple sweet cool treat recipes for you summer days. They can be made ahead of time and frozen to enjoy later. If you have done fruit smoothie’s before you know almost anything tastes wonderful in them. If you don’t have exactly what the recipe calls for get creative. Use what ever you have in your fridge and freezer.
I freeze very ripe bananas out of their peels in a Ziploc bag. Then I use them for fruit shakes. I also purchase berries and other fruit when they are on sale and put them straight into the freezer. Then they are available for this!!! Already frozen frozen fruit items make your shake especially frosty and yummy!!!
TROPICAL SUMMER FRUIT SMOOTHIE
1 ½ cups frozen mango chunks
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen sweet pineapple
2 cups orange juice
1 cup vanilla yogurt (low fat and/or sugarless are fine)
Pour the orange juice into a blender. Add fruit and blend until fully puréed. Since it’s frozen, you may need to stop blending and stir up the fruit a bit.
Add yogurt and blend again until completely combined.
Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!
Summer Fruit Smoothie
Take advantage of fresh summer fruit to whip up a refreshing smoothie! Or, use frozen fruit to enjoy summer flavors any time of year.
Prep time 10 min. Serving size 1 cup
fresh blueberries. 1 cup
chopped fresh strawberries 1 cup
peaches (peeled, seeded and chopped) 2
peach flavored Greek style yogurt (non-fat) 6 oz. (sugarless and low-fat are great)
almond milk (unsweetened) 1 cup
ground flax seed 2 tbsp
ice 1/2 cup
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. There is so much flavor in the fruit no added sugar is perfect.
Very simply advice for strengthening your relationship: These simple acts of love will show your significant other you are thinking of them and care about their needs. Practice these for a month with out telling your partner. Watch your relationship grow and deepen through simple acts of kindness.
Tell him you love him ~ Verbal affirmation
Pay him a compliment ~ Look for good
Pray for him ~ Seek the very best
Do something nice for him ~ Show kindness
Hug & kiss him every single day ~ Physical connection
As the 4th of July approaches our city comes together for the oldest 4th of July Parade this side of the Mississippi River!!!! Huntington Beach began celebrating America’s Birthday with a parade in 1904, 118 years ago!!!! The parade started small, just a few local floats and bands. Today it is a full scale production! Over 500,00 attend and it is televised. There are marching bands from all over the country, horses, little clown cars, floats, Boy Scouts, Marirachi bands, veterans groups, Charros (horseback riders in full caballero regalia), and on and on. It is a wonderful celebration of our country!
We are fortunate to have friends who live on the parade route. They kindly invite us to a wonderful breakfast brunch and front row seat to the festivities. We have joined them for over 12 years!!! We met them when our eldest son was at West Point, The United States Military Academy, and their son was a Navy Seal.
Having lived in Huntington Beach for several decades, being at the parade is like ‘old home week’! We see folks we have known since high school. It is so much fun!!! If you don’t have anywhere to celebrate the 4th, and are in the southern California area, come on down to the parade! Sit on the beach and enjoy the sunshine. Come join the party!!! If you can’t join us get friends and family together and enjoy the holiday with them! Invite everyone to bring their favorite goodies!! No telling what delicious treats will turn up!!!
We have so much for which to be thankful!! Focusing on this brings happiness and peace!!!