Development of the senses for babies begins before birth. Your newborn recognizes your voice, touch, and smell from the moment he is born. Babies develop and meet milestones at their own pace; however, here is a general guideline to help you understand each phase of your newborn’s development.
The sense of hearing develops during the last few months of pregnancy. The fetus can hear and distinguish sounds from the outside world while in the uterus.
Shortly after birth, newborn babies can recognize the voices of their parents but will take time to determine the direction of the sound source. Gradually, within the first couple of months, your baby will develop the ability to direct his head towards the source of the sound.
Complete visual development for a baby will usually take six months. During the first couple of days of delivering your newborn, he will not be able to see clearly, as the sense of sight is not yet completely developed.
After completing the second month, your baby will start seeing bright colors and following objects that are in motion.
Once your baby finishes his fourth month, he will be able to recognize toys, bright objects, and facial expressions.
At six months, your baby will be able to see the details of his surrounding objects the way adults do.
The sense of smell develops early in babies. After completing seven months of pregnancy, your fetus will be able to smell while inside your womb, through the amniotic fluid. Newborns can therefore know the smell of their mothers, and are able to smell their mother’s milk as well.
Newborns will be able to distinguish sweet, sour, salty, and bitter tastes from a very early stage of their development. Your six-month-old baby will prefer sweet fruits to salty vegetables because of being used to your breast milk, which is sweet by nature.
Touching is a rudimentary sense in your baby’s development. Touching enables him to know whether he is feeling hot or cold and will allow him to discover the world from touching different objects, especially after turning six months old.