Pregnancy

What's New in Baby Research?

ABush Jul 1st, 2013 (updated Jan 8th, 2014)
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Want to know more about your infant? Check out what's new in the world of baby research.

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Babies can read each other's moods
Babies can read each other's moods

Psychology professor Ross Flom's study, published in the academic journal Infancy, found that infants can recognize each other's emotions when they’re as young as five months old. Since babies can't verbalize their needs, they use emotion to communicate. 

This is the first study to show that infants this young can match the emotions of peers. 

Source: Science Daily

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Babies use a different stress hormone than their mother to signal distress
Babies use a different stress hormone than their mother to signal distress

A University of Calgary researcher has identified how a steroid hormone may indicate infant distress during labor and delivery. The study, published by PLOS ONE, suggests that a full-term, healthy baby preferentially secretes a different stress hormone than its mother does.

This serves as an important biomarker of adrenal function in premature infants.

Source: Science Daily 

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Signing with babies does not accelerate language development
Signing with babies does not accelerate language development

Sorry, overzealous parents: Unless your child is hearing-impaired, don't waste time teaching her signing in an effort to speed up language development. 

Researchers from the University of Hertfordshire have found no evidence to support claims that using signing with babies helps to accelerate their ability to learn language. 

Source: Science Daily

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Breast-fed babies may have a higher social status in adulthood
Breast-fed babies may have a higher social status in adulthood

According to the researchers from University College London, breastfeeding can affect cognitive development, and that can help them climb the social ladder later in their lives. Breastfeeding also seemed to curb the chances of downward mobility.

Researchers, however, could not discern whether or not the effects were due to the nutrients found in breast milk, or if they were from the bond developed between mother and child.  

Source: Time

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Pointing to objects will help build your baby’s vocabulary
Pointing to objects will help build your baby’s vocabulary

Even though signing probably won’t help, pointing might. Development experts have always encouraged parents to talk to their babies (even while they're in the womb), and now researchers are suggesting that using non-verbal cues, such as pointing to objects, can encourage vocabulary-building, regardless of socioeconomic status. 

Source: Time