The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
The definitive book about a newborn's abilities is Your Amazing Newborn by Marshall H. Klaus and Phyllis H. Klaus.
I give a copy of this book to all my clients about a month before
due date. This gives them a chance to learn about their
skills before the birth. And I encourage them to leave the
on the coffee table for the visiting grandparents and other
Infants Have 'Amazing Capabilities' That Adults Lack By Robin Lloyd
"Soon after birth, infants are keen and sophisticated
of seeing details in the world that are visible to some other
invisible to adults, older children and even slightly older
This is from a psych textbook, under the topic of Perceptual Development in Infancy.
The child who experiences love and security develops a brain with biochemistry and architecture that "welcomes new information. ... is highly curious and constantly explores his enchanted environment." His/Her early experiences set him/her on the road to developing confidence, high self-esteem, and a relaxed approach to new situations, which greatly enhance his/her ability to learn.
The consequences of hostility, neglect or even indifference toward a child are brain responses that tend to repeat themselves and are reinforced until s/he is conditioned to be hyperalert to danger. All other information irrelevant to the perceived danger is filtered by the brain as unimportant. Over time, these early responses can grow into impulsive, violent ones that typically lead the young adolescent into criminal activity.
Excerpted from Infants Have 'Amazing Capabilities' That Adults Lack By Robin Lloyd:
At a few days old, infants can pick out their native tongue from a foreign one.
At 4 or 5 months, infants can lip read, matching faces on silent videos to "ee" and "ah" sounds.
Infants can recognize the consonants and vowels of all languages on Earth, and they can hear the difference between foreign language sounds that elude most adults.
Infants in their first six months can tell the difference between two monkey faces that an older person would say are identical, and they can match calls that monkeys make with pictures of their faces.
Infants are rhythm experts, capable of differentiating between the beats of their culture and another.
The latest finding, presented in the May 25, 2007, issue of the journal Science, is that infants just 4 months old can tell whether someone is speaking in their native tongue or not without any sound, just by watching a silent movie of their speech. This ability disappears by the age of 8 months, however, unless the child grows up in a bilingual environment and therefore needs to use the skill.
In fact, all the skills outlined above decline somewhere around
time infants pass the 6-month mark and learn to ignore information
bears little on their immediate environment.
Newborn by Sonia Shah - You know your baby’s trying to tell
but what is it?
gift - from the Oprah Winfrey Show. You can order
directly from their web site.
Mom unlocks baby talk - Australian says she's unlocked the mystery to five sounds made by all babies [11/30/06]
An Australian mom claims to have discovered the holy grail of infant development a universal baby language spoken by all newborns the world over.
She believes it's composed of five distinct sounds: Neh, Owh, Heh, Eairh, Eh, meaning, I'm hungry; I'm sleepy; I'm experiencing discomfort (also known as "change my diaper already"); I have lower gas pain and I need to burp.
The sounds aren't randomly produced; they arise from a reflex to a physical need, says Priscilla Dunstan, 32, adding she made her discovery after reaching wit's end with her own crying infant son in 1998.
For example, the "Neh" sound is created when a baby gets hungry and cries through the sucking reflex, which pushes the tongue against the roof of the mouth. The "Eh" (I need to burp) sound is made when there's an air bubble trapped in baby's chest.
discrimination in infancy.
Weikum WM, Vouloumanos A, Navarra J, Soto-Faraco S, Sebastian-Galles N, Werker JF.
Science. 2007 May 25;316(5828):1159.
"This study shows that 4- and 6-month-old infants can discriminate languages (English from French) just from viewing silently presented articulations. By the age of 8 months, only bilingual (French-English) infants succeed at this task. These findings reveal a surprisingly early preparedness for visual language discrimination and highlight infants' selectivity for retaining only necessary perceptual sensitivities."
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