I made Brett promise me that after we had kids I’d still be able to have conversations about topics other than baby poop. So here are some things I’ve learned about babies and brains and baby brains. Baby brains are one of my favorite topics. For a great book check out my review of The Philosophical Baby. Buy it on Amazon too – The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life by Alison Gopnik
Our babies do not sleep in our room (I’m a wife in our room, not a mom). But we have had a twin bed in the babies’ rooms that I spent at least part of each night in the first month or so after they were born. And it was not good sleep. I would wake up in the middle of the night to crying and be unsure which room I was in. I comforted Brett’s arm multiple times to try to get it to stop crying. And at least once I held onto his arm while he tried to get out of bed because I didn’t want his arm, which I thought was a baby, to roll off the bed and die. We all sleep so much better when we sleep all night in our own rooms.
Since reading that babies’ main motivation in their interaction with adults is to get the adult to smile at them while adults are aiming for the simultaneous smile, I’ve started smiling at our babies more without being overly concerned if they smile back at me.
In a comic explaining how our brains respond to humor, I think my favorite part is where they indicate that humor changes with age. Because yes.
An article about our growing dependence on digital memory really makes you stop and think, or at least it hopefully does. It’s not a good trend. Losing the ability to create long-term memories could be devastating to human culture and society.
Cognitive dissonance, that uneasy feeling in your brain, is actually a good thing. The main thing I found fascinating with a study about what parts of your brain are at work when you feel that way is that they used wallpaper choices to create the dissonance. Wallpaper? Really?
I really found it fascinating to read about how brains map time in the same way they map location. Perhaps that is why I can remember what I was thinking if I can remember when I was thinking it and how closely that is tied with where I was doing the thinking. Our brain cells really have the space-time continuum figured out.
It seems that kids, especially under the age of 2, benefit more from dad reading to them than mom. They definitely benefit from mom reading to them. But just like everything else, moms and dads read to their kids differently and kids need both. Go Brett for reading to our kids at bedtime.
Babies have a critical period to learn how to say all the sounds in the language(s) they will speak as adults, and it’s between 8 and 10 months old. Anyone know where I can get native speakers from multiple languages who want to come talk to our kids a few times a week for the next 4 months?
Another interesting tidbit about babies and language is that they appear to need to be able to move their own tongue in order to differentiate between sounds. They aren’t actively making the sounds so it’s interesting that they need to have the capacity to do so.