6. Most (95%) human babies demonstrate an innate swimming or diving reflex from birth until the age of approximately six months.
Most (95%) human babies demonstrate an intrinsic swimming or diving reflex that is known as Infant swimming from birth until they are six months of age. During this reflex, the babies’ heart rate decreases by an average of 20% and is also characterized by reduced blood circulation to the fingers and toes.
Also, during the diving reflex, oxygen is saved for the heart and lungs that slows down the beginning of hypoxic damage. Because of Infant swimming, babies are able to survive under water for short periods of time.(source)
7. Cells from fetuses can migrate into the brains of their mothers and a son’s DNA can show up in his mother’s brain.
“A mother may always have her children on her mind,” literally! This has been proved in a study that has thrown some surprising findings. Apparently, during pregnancy, mothers and fetuses exchange cells that can survive in each other’s bodies for years. This phenomenon is known as microchimerism. Due to this phenomenon, the brain regions in mothers often shows the male Y chromosomes.
How is this possible is that during pregnancy, the defense system of the brain- called blood-brain barrier- that prevents drugs and germs in the blood stream to pass into the brain region becomes permeable, which results in the migration of fetus cells in the brain of the mothers.(source)
8. The palmar grasp reflex: when something touches a baby’s palm, they reflexively grasp it with surprising strength. It might be actually strong enough to support their own body weight!
Babies have an innate reflex mechanism through which they grasp a thing that touches their palm region. This reflex is known as Palmar grasp reflex. It is observed 16 months after conception and is fully developed in a baby by the time of its birth. When something strokes the palmar surface of the hand of a baby, their fingers flex towards the palm in an attempt to clasp the object that is the reason for the sensation.
The grip is surprisingly strong enough to support the baby’s own weight but is also unpredictable as an infant can release the grip unexpectedly. The Palmar grasp reflex is vital for developing fine motor skills in babies and the ability to recognize an object by its sensation.(1, 2)
9. A baby’s brain can use up to 50% of the total glucose supply, which may help explain why babies need so much sleep.
A baby’s brain can use as much as 50% of the total glucose supply which is why babies tend to sleep more often. By this comparison, an adult’s brain consumes 20% of the body’s supply of glucose and sleep improves the glucose uptake into the brain. The levels of leptin-a hormone that decreases appetite- increase during sleep.(source)
10. Newborn infants can only see in Black and White for a few months. This is because their “binocular” vision is still getting developed
In the first three months of an infant, their eyes can only focus about eight to 12 inches from their face, and they see only black, white and gray. This is because during the first few weeks and months, both of the babies’ eyes learn to work together- which is known as binocular vision- and the newborn slowly begin to respond to movement.
As the color vision begins to develop after birth, babies see red first and they can then see the entire spectrum of colors by the time they are 3 months of age.(source)