.At age 0-2, the brain development of an infant towards a toddler undergoes a humongous change. Since the basic structure of the nervous system is already developed during pregnancy, it is only going to expand in volume and synapses to accommodate the flooding of information.
Research shows the volume of nerves grow just over double in the first year(1). It also shows there are massive growth in different parts of an infant cerebral cortex and cerebellum.(1)
During this period, babies are receiving a lot of information from sensory organs, such as eyes, nose and ears, learning and feeling their surroundings. But how?
They see, move, touch, listen and smell! In the study of anatomy, we found there are a few locations in our body which are rich with sensory nerve endings. In general their role is to help us feel, such as light touch and temperature. You might be able to guess one of the most sensitive part of your body is your finger tips, but interestingly our lips and tongue consist of numerous amount of nerve endings as well!(2). It help us distinguish small and important details E.g. taste and fine touch.
Therefore, we can infer the reason why babies like to put objects into their mouth, is because they are exploring and learning the world, utilising their most sensitive part of their body to gather more information and develop the nervous system. This stimulation also helps with integration of primitive reflexes.
A healthy nervous system is vital for brain development, especially for the infant. Little Sprouts Chiropractic provides a comprehensive chiropractic health check for you and your baby. Give us a call and see if we can help you.
1. Knickmeyer RC, Gouttard S, Kang C, Evans D, Wilber K, Smith JK, et al. A structural MRI study of human brain development from birth to 2 years. Journal of Neuroscience. 2008;28(47):12176-82.
2. Guinard J-X, Mazzucchelli R. The sensory perception of texture and mouthfeel. Trends in Food Science & Technology. 1996;7(7):213-9.