Weplaysmart Blog

The “Aqua-man” ability: The swimming reflex!

The “Aqua-man” ability: The swimming reflex!

This reflex is a really neat one! The swimming reflex is essentially babies’ ability to move when they are in the water. Seeing as they have been floating in amniotic fluid for nine months, this is a reflex that has been developing since as early as 15 weeks of gestation. After birth, when your baby’s face is placed in water, they child will kick and paddle as if he or she is swimming. Generally, this reflex will fade once your baby hits the six-month mark (Min et al. 2011).  In fact, many baby swimming programmes rely on this swimming reflex....

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Your baby is a little superman!

Your baby is a little superman!

New-born babies can do some pretty impressive things. Right from the start, the moment you hold your little one, you will notice some of these impressive feats. Every child is born with a particular set of primitive reflexes. These reflexes help guide and shape their development as they grow (Doman & Doman 2005:57). The stepping reflex is one of the primitive reflexes that are displayed as early as one week old. When you hold your infant upright with the feet almost touching a hard surface, you will notice that the baby’s reaction will be to place one foot in front...

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Why does baby stimulation start with stimulation of the reflexes?

Why does baby stimulation start with stimulation of the reflexes?

Your baby is already “equipped” with the necessary “tools”, right from birth, to one day become the brightest scholar he/she can be. These “tools” are the various primitive reflexes, presented as the first building blocks in each area of development, which is also unique to man. . Primitive reflexes are brainstem-mediated, automatic movements which may begin as early gestation week 25-26, and which are fully present at birth in term new-born. Primitive reflexes start to disappear when the central nervous system matures and voluntary motor activities replace them (Min et al. 2011).  The Apgar is a quick test performed on...

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What is meant by the plasticity of the brain?

What is meant by the plasticity of the brain?

From birth the brain is rapidly creating synaptic connections, triggered by stimulation from the environment, thus increasing your baby’s brain volume and weight. When connections or synapses are fired repeatedly, they become stronger and more permanent. If not used at all, or not often enough, the connections are unlikely to survive and the neurons are “pruned back”. Audrey van der Meer (Van der Meer 2017), a professor in neuropsychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has used advanced EEG technology for many years to study the brain activity of hundreds of babies. Van der Meer mentions the...

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Baby’s brain power

Baby’s brain power

Most of the brain’s cells are formed before birth, but most of the connections among the cells are made during infancy and early childhood. It is the synapses and connections between the cells that determines how quickly information leaps between brain cells. In general, the thicker the outer sheath of the brain cell becomes and the more dendrites and synapses the brain has, the greater its processing power. More pathways mean information can travel in several ways, opening the door to faster and more complex thinking. And these pathways can only be brought along with usage! From birth the brain...

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