In the womb, the first system to independently form is your baby brain. At first breath your baby’s brain is about 12 ounces, 25% of its full size and is made up of approximately 100 billion brain cells. These cells and your baby’s brain have yet to grow. In fact, at birth your baby’s brain is the ONLY organ not fully formed. Very few synaptic connections exist at birth, only enough to regulate breath, heart rate, blood pressure, metabolism and vital functions. As they mature, the baby’s brain cells, called neurons, get larger, stronger, and form tentacle -like branches in order to connect and communicate with other neurons and set the stage for how they will survive and thrive in life – their ability to rationalize, sense the world about them, express emotion, listen, communicate, and learn. This is the true essence of a baby’s brain development.
After birth, the baby brain will grow in sequential form from the bottom up – from the brain stem, the least complex area, to the cerebral cortex, the most complex area. During the first year, the average baby will add slightly more tissue to its brain than it will add throughout the rest of its life. By age two, roughly 80 percent of the brain is intact. By age six, the brain is almost 90 percent of its adult size and possesses approximately 1,000 trillion synapses.