PARENTS

New Baby Studies Offer Surprising Insights Into Infant Development

11/28/2011 08:28 am 08:28:14 | Updated Nov 28, 2011

Babies don't come with a manual. No matter how much parenting advice your mom, sister, co-worker and hair stylist have to offer, there's no way to get what's happening with these little creatures in every situation. (We're talking about you, colic.)

That's where science comes in. For the last 10 to 15 years, researchers have been studying infants more closely than ever in order to understand their development and help parents make good choices.

"Raising children is not like installing a self-cleaning oven. You don't just get to push a button," says Betsy Brown Braun, child development and behavior specialist and author of "You're Not the Boss of Me." "As researchers look at all this stuff ... this helps us to give cues and clues to parents as to what they can do to enhance their child's early learning."

While findings from many of the most recent studies are fascinating (did you know a baby can recognize dad's voice at just six weeks old?), learning what's going on in those tiny heads is also part of a bigger picture -- our never-ending quest to figure out how we become human.

"I love it when parents are interested in their kids. When they care enough," Braun says.

So in the name of further understanding, here are seven surprising things you may not know about babies:

Seven Things You Didn't Know About Babies
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