The sensitivity range in newborn babies and young children differs from the feelings of strangeness and familiarity, discomfort and comfort, and emotional dilemmas. Healthy babies are equipped with their five senses when they come into the world. Your child will learn slowly about how to uses the five senses over time. When your child is inside your womb, they focus on the noises they hear during that period and, when the baby comes into the world, they focus more on new stimuli in their surroundings. Your baby will use these senses to familiarize himself/herself with the situation in the surrounding. Your baby feels comfortable when they can touch and smell their mother probably, as it brings a soothing notion among them.
You might wonder about your baby’s use of all five senses during the early stages of life after they are born. The main thing to remember about infants is that your baby will perceive things differently when compared to adults or toddlers. There are some main actions that babies do during their early stages of life, after being born, which includes:
- Your baby will use all five senses to gather information from the surroundings.
- They might react to their surrounding environment as they perceive information.
- Your baby will constantly seek comfort and would want you to stay close all the time.
- They also search for nutrition which allows a bonding time between you and your baby to understand them better as they are unable to communicate properly.
The five senses in humans are already present by birth but the two of them like; hearing and touch are completely developed at the time of birth. However, the other senses like; vision, smell, and taste, take time to fully develop throughout the growing period of an infant. This is not something to worry about therefore, you can also use some tips and tricks to stimulate your baby's senses.
Sense of Vision
Your baby might not see things clearly in the very beginning stages right after birth. The farthest distance that your baby's vision can cover is around 8 or 12 inches which are also a little fuzzy and blurry. The only thing that your baby will notice is the shapes of an object or the shadows depending upon the size of the object in the line of vision. But this is for early-stage babies, when your baby enters the fourth month after birth, their sense of vision will enhance and they might start tracking objects with their eyes. By the fifth month, your baby will be able to observe the objects rather deeply. During the age of four to six months, your baby will start observing different colors of objects as well.
How to enhance your baby’s vision:
To enhance the sense of vision in your baby you can;
- Try decorating your baby's room in bold and bright colors with some designs.
- Change your baby's position while you are feeding them so they can observe their surroundings from different angles. It also helps them see things differently and from a different perspective.
- Babies also learn from observing the facial expressions; try bringing your face in your baby's line of vision, and interact with them by smiling constantly. Your baby will observe and try to mimic what they see.
- Try to play games with your baby that enhance their eye and hand coordination like; peek-a-boo, when they reach four years of age.
- You can also enhance their sense of vision by giving your baby the opportunities to observe a variety of different sights like, bring them to a zoo, park, or just stroll around your neighborhood.
- Your baby might observe a particular thing rather keenly, do not walk away but rather let your baby observe whatever caught his eye.
Sense of Hearing
A baby starts hearing while they are still inside the womb. Your child is most likely familiar with your voice and would incur your voice as a soothing medium. Your baby’s sense of hearing is fully developed from the early stages unlike other senses, therefore they might get startled when a door slams shut because they are very sensitive to their new surroundings.
How to enhance your baby’s hearing:
You can enhance your baby’s sense of hearing by trying the following steps;
- You can read, sing or talk to your baby as often as you can. They learn what they see and hear, which also helps in their language development, improves their personality, and promotes the bonding between you and your child.
- Babies are more attracted to voices that are smooth and soft therefore, try to talk in a singsong manner to attract their attention.
- Try to interact with your baby in your usual routine and engage your baby in daily activities.
- Your baby might like it when you turn on a piece of soothing music during their sleep time as it puts a soothing effect over the baby because it mimics the rhythmic and steady sound of when the baby was inside your womb.
Sense of Touch
The sense of touch is also well-developed in your baby at the time of birth. Your baby might be able to distinguish between various types of shapes, temperature, and texture. During the early period after the baby is born, your baby might want you to hold them all the time because your touch will assure them of a secure feeling and brings comfort.
How to enhance your baby’s touch:
Help your baby enhance their senses through the following steps
- Make sure you initiate skin-to-skin contact with your baby at regular intervals.
- Rub a skin-soothing lotion and massage your baby rather gently.
- Let your baby grab different objects to help them feel and observe the surface of various objects.
Sense of Smell
Your baby is most likely to find soothing effects through your scent. The scent that your baby gets exposed to during the first days of life, will soothe the baby in moments of despair.
How to enhance your baby’s smell:
- Use the same products regularly which bring a soothing impact on your baby.
- Do not use perfumes and other sharp scented objects on your baby as it might confuse them about your scent.
- Try to use light and different scents like fruits, flowers, and such objects to enhance their sense.
Sense of Taste
Baby’s often reject food that they do not like at first. Most of the time babies are born with preferences of the taste like some prefer sweet items while some prefer salty food items.
How to enhance your baby’s sense of taste:
- Make sure that your baby is exposed to a variety of food items to know their preference.
- A variety of food will enhance the sense of taste but make sure that your baby does not have any food allergies.
- Consult with your doctor before giving food to your baby.
The baby’s senses develop from highly specialized senses towards the less specialized senses. The pattern follows as the sense of sight is the first one to be perceived followed by a sense of hearing, touch, smell, and taste at the very end, which enhances progressively.