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Babies mental leaps

 
As well as physical growth spurts, your baby will also experience mental growth spurts or ‘leaps’. It’s easy to see when your baby has suddenly grown taller or put on weight, but not so easy to see what’s happening inside their brain. Find out more about mental leaps.
As well as physical growth spurts, your baby will also experience mental growth spurts or ‘leaps’.

It’s easy to see when your baby has suddenly grown taller or put on weight, but not so easy to see what’s happening inside their brain.
 

What are babies mental leaps?


A leap in your baby's mental development means that suddenly there are many changes happening in their head and their brain perceives things it wasn't capable of perceiving before; new tastes, sounds, smells, feelings, things they can see and a better understanding of the environment around them.

The parts of your baby's brain that control bodily functions are already fully wired up and won't change. Babies instinctively know how to breathe, feed, sleep and poo.

However the parts of their  brain or cognitive make up, that enables them to learn new skills such as perception, thought, memory, language and physical development takes time to develop.

Just as a baby has processed one mental leap and has started to master a number of new skills, the next leap arrives!

This process keeps repeating itself during the first two years, especially during the first three months, when leaps follow one another in rapid succession.

Neurological research has shown mental leaps not only affect a baby’s mood, but also their health, intelligence and sleeping patterns.
 

When do mental leaps occur?


During the first 20 months of their life, 10 developmental leaps occur hand in hand with prolonged crying, clinging and irritability.

These 10 leaps usually occur round 5, 8, 12, 19, 26, 37, 46, 55, 64 and 75 weeks, or may vary by a week or two.

Once a baby has completed a mental leap, it means that they have come to terms with their new perceptual ability and are no longer crying, clingy or irritable.

They will master some skills right after a leap, but other skills may take more time. They learn by experience, by making mistakes and through trial and error.
 

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