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Babies grow so quickly, they practically transform before your eyes. But what about the changes you can't see, like the development of their taste buds and vision?
There's a lot going on in those little bodies, and it’s all amazing. Here are three fascinating facts about your baby’s development that you might not know.
Baby weight gain
Your baby is growing, but by how much? After some initial weight loss, newborns typically gain 1 ounce a day for the first three months, and then 2/3 ounce a day until age 1, says Robert Needlman, a former associate professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and vice president of developmental and behavioral pediatrics for the Dr. Spock Company.
An average baby doubles his birth weight by 4 months and triples it by his first birthday. He also adds 1 to 1 ½ inches every month in height.
If you were 8 pounds and 20 inches at birth and continued growing at the same rate, by age 20 you'd be about 25 feet tall and weigh nearly 315 pounds.
When babies can taste salt
Although babies can detect sweet, bitter, and sour tastes from birth, they can't taste salt until they're 4 months old. That's when sodium-sensitive receptor proteins begin to emerge in the taste buds.
The ability to taste salt may be related to the development of the kidneys, says neuroscientist Lise Eliot, an associate professor of neuroscience at Chicago Medical School and author of What's Going On in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life.
The kidneys start to use sodium when babies are about 4 months old. This appears to be hardwired into the child development process and unrelated to the volume of cheese puffs you consumed while pregnant.
Baby eyesight milestone
At birth babies' eyes are already 75 percent of adult size, but their vision is a blurry 20/2400. That means they can only clearly discern objects about a foot away — about the distance to your face during cuddling or feeding.
By 6 months, your baby's vision should improve to 20/20. Providing your baby with lots of visual stimuli is important and helps the eye-brain connections develop correctly, says Scott Jens, an optometrist in Wisconsin and chair of the American Optometric Association's InfantSee program.
Back to amazing developmental facts, age by age.
Dan Tynan writes about parenting and technology for a wide range of publications and in his blog, Tynan Writes. Christina Wood is a magazine writer and author of Every Woman's Guide to Technology. She blogs at Geek Girlfriends.