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0-3 Months: Physiological development

Damaria Senne

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Contrary to previous widely held beliefs, the human brain is not fully developed at birth. In fact, a newborn's brain is about 25% of its approximate adult weight. After birth, it grows dramatically by producing billions of cells and hundreds of trillions of connections between these cells. These cells form a complex control centre for sensing the world and enabling the baby not only to see, hear, move, taste and touch but also to think, feel, and behave in particular ways.

Babies are born without the ability to control their head and neck muscles. They develop this crucial skill during the first six months of their life. During the first three months, your baby will learn how to lift her head and move it from side to side while lying on her stomach. She will also respond to sounds, stare at faces and vocalize by gurgling, cooing and making cries for different situations. Your baby should also be able to wave her arms and pump her legs. As her hip and knee joints become more flexible, her kicks will get stronger.

Damaria Senne is a freelance writer based in Phokeng, South Africa. Her work has been published in regional and national magazines in South Africa, as well as online magazines. She writes about parenting, work-at-home, career and women's issues.

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