Netflix Twelve Part Series ‘Babies’ Episode: #6 FIRST STEPS

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.

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