Mar 252013

_MG_8115“A new baby is like the beginning of all things- wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities.” Eda J Le Shan
Most parents worry about their baby’s senses. While there are tests that can be done to determine the level of development, the first year of life makes a big difference in the development of the senses.

Here are a few facts you need to know about your newborns senses.

Smell and Taste:

These two senses are developed by birth and are closely linked. At birth a baby can recognize the mother’s smell. The sense of smell moves from amniotic fluid to the mother. By the end of the first week the baby can smell the mother from a distance, they recognize the mother by her smell. They are able to taste and initially appreciate sweet than sour stuff, probably because the human milk has a sweet taste. Taste sense changes as the child develops.


Human babies are the only ones among the primates that smile to their parents. The baby’s first social smile will be seen between week 4 and week 6 after birth.
Baby’s respond to a smiling face and get edgy when the face they are looking at is grumpy. Remember that whenever you hold a baby


A newborn baby’s sense of touch is fully developed. Touching them not only helps stimulate production of hormones that promote growth, but also helps their body respond better to these hormones. A _MG_8064baby who is regularly massaged is more relaxed, therefore feeds and sleeps better and grows better.

The skin helps regulate their temperature. When baby is cold, they will move around so as to raise their temperature. When hot, they tend to lie on their back with their arms and legs flung out to the side as this helps cool them down.
These signs can help determine if your baby is feeling too hot or too cold.


The sense of hearing is the first to develop in the womb. The sounds get exaggerated once they are born as in the womb they were cushioned by the amniotic fluid. The baby responds best to the voice(s) they have been hearing in the womb, mostly the mothers and fathers.

“Babies divide up the world between things that respond to them and things that don’t,” Says Michael Goldstein, a language development researcher at Cornell University.

A baby will learn from things that respond to them. Respond to your baby’s cry and sounds as often and as promptly as possible. When your baby has a new sound, repeat it back to them severally. Speak to your baby often. Avoid ‘baby talk’ when speaking to your baby, speak normally and softly to enhance their learning.


A newborn baby sees things that are far though not clearly. They respond better when lights are not bright. Their sight develops as they learn to focus. Many times they will appear cross-eyed as they focus. Their sight will improve a s they see more.

Lucy Muchiri

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