Do you remember how excited you were when your baby kicked for the first time in your womb? Beyond getting all excited and telling everyone about it, you probably also went to look up what it meant. Maybe you would have found what an active baby in womb means for your baby’s development.
New research has discovered that an active baby in womb means aren’t just saying “Hi!”, they are actually punching and kicking to build their brain network.
What was the research all about?
The study examined 19 newborns, with an average age of 2 days old. Researchers used non-invasive electroencephalography (EEG) to measure the babies brainwaves as they were sleeping, especially when they kick and punch during REM sleep. They found that brain waves fire whenever a baby’s limbs move. Larger brain waves (increased brain activity) were found in prematurely born babies who should have been still in the womb, as opposed to full-term infants.
Research results also support the fact that newborns should be sleeping with as little disruption as possible to assist with any required medical procedures.
An active baby in womb means baby is preparing for the world
All that kicking and punching actually helps baby build brain power | Source: Pexels
The brain is the most complex part of the human body, and researchers believe babies’ foetal movements (when the baby’s kicking) helps him or her to understand how to control movements and understand how touch feels.
Interestingly, this brain mapping only happens until baby is finally born. Just a few days before baby is due, the kicks and jabs no longer affect the brain less, anticipating birth.
Researchers suggest your baby’s foetal movements are actually preparing baby for life after birth, setting up the foundation for baby to learn and process all the new information he or she is about to receive in the outside world.
Active baby in womb means they are learning instincts
Active baby in the womb means healthy development, which might explain why the baby knows how to breastfeed from birth. | Source: Pexels
Because baby learns touch from feeling around in the womb, your newborn knows skills instinctively from the moment he or she is born, like breastfeeding.
The researchers also believe that the study will be able to improve neonatal care in hospitals, especially in the case of premature babies. There can be new ways to wrap premature babies so baby feels like he or she is still in the womb to continue developing the brain network.
8 amazing baby abilities from birth
Babies are actually super smart – not smart enough to hold a conversation yet though. What an active baby in the womb means is development. | Source: Pexels
While babies can’t do all that much when they’re born, the research above shows that babies are very well-prepared for the basics of the outside world. They are definitely a lot smarter than their smile gives away. In fact, did you know your baby is born with these amazing abilities?
1. Baby knows who’s the boss
In one research, babies as young as 10 months were made to watch a cartoon starring block.
When the small cartoon block gave way to the bigger cartoon block, babies didn’t care. But when the bigger cartoon block gave way to the smaller cartoon block, they stared longer at the scene, indicating surprise.
This suggests babies might be born with the understanding of social interactions and hierarchies.
2. Understanding dogs
Worried about introducing your pets to the baby? This study shows that 6-month-olds can match photos of dogs expressions to the sounds of angry barks or friendly yaps. Emotions are one of the first things the baby picks up.
3. Comprehending emotions
Speaking of emotions, baby knows when you’re feeling sad after a long day at work. A study from the journal Neuron in 2010 found that 5-month-old babies can discern between upbeat and sad music. At 9 months, babies can pick out the really sorrowful sounding Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony from other happy songs.
4. Happy feet
Research has found infants dancing to classical, rhythmic beats and speech, and professional ballet dancers were brought in to analyse their movements. Incredibly, it finds that babies knows how to shake their booty to the beat, even better than speaking – suggesting that dancing is our blood.
5. Sleep learning
Babies sleep all the time, but they might actually be learning too. A 2010 study experimented with 26 sleeping newborns, playing a musical tone then blowing a puff of air to their eyes. They did this 200 times over 30 minutes. The results – babies learnt to anticipate when the air will be blown, tightening their eyelids in response to the music.
6. Baby can identify where sounds are coming from correctly.
This study showed 7-month olds two videos, A and B. A was a video of two women. B was a video of three women.
When the babies heard two women saying “Look!”, they turned to A. When the babies heard three women saying “Look!”, they turned to B, indicating they knew where sounds were coming from.
7. Babies learn languages fast
They say babies pick up a new language fast, and it’s true. George Hollich, a psychologist at Purdue University has extensively researched this topic and found that babies learn and begin to understand grammar from as young as 15 months.
8. Knows if you’re naughty or nice
Know how babies want to be carried by your husband and yourself but not necessarily by strangers? Kiley Hamlin, a researcher from Yale University, shows 6 and 10-month-old infants a puppet show. In the show, Shape A helped Shape B climb a hill, while in another scene, Shape C pushed Shape B down.
When asked to choose between Shape A and Shape C, most babies chose Shape A when asked. This shows that morals may be ingrained in us more so than we think.
Isn’t that wonderful how our babies have formed so many abilities while in the womb?
Read also: 7 Common worries every new parent can relate to