Understanding the development of senses in newborns helps parents to stimulate their senses accordingly and thus help in their growth and development.
Although senses like vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch starts developing in the mother’s womb but still some of these senses are not fully developed .As the newborns grow, their senses too develop and grow simultaneously.There are millions of brain cells in newborns and all of them are not connected .So, it is essential to stimulate these cells to help them form strong connections.
Of all the senses, eyesight is the least developed one. A newborn’s eye is only 75% developed as compared to an adult’s eye. They can see up to a distance of approx 12”.
So, parents must maintain a close distance with their infants when interacting or playing with them. This helps the newborns to recognize their parents face and thus help in emotional development. Newborns have color vision and so they can see colors.
However, they can distinguish bright and contrasts colors more easily than pastel shades.So, parents must prefer painting the walls of their infants with bright colors and giving them toys of bright colors.
This helps them to enjoy more. In addition to this, newborns have peripheral vision which means they are able to see more clearly through the corners of their eyes.So, even if they do not maintain an eye contact for the first few weeks parents must not worry.Newborns can clearly distinguish between various patterns and shapes.So, toys of different shapes and colors attracts them.
Hearing power is developed maximum at birth. An infant starts hearing from the womb itself .Inside the womb,an infant hears many internal and external sounds like mother’s heart beat, human voices, music etc.Its said that a newborn can recognize her mother’s voice. They prefer repetitive sounds and music.
So, in order to stimulate them, parents must communicate with their newborns by holding them closely, singing rhyme or songs and repeat them often. Parents must speak and sing to their infants in childish language at a pitch and frequency in which their newborns responds and prefers.
Newborns are born with the taste of breast milk or formula milk.Therefore,they prefer sweet flavor.As they grow,different food items are added in their diet and thus slowly they develop different preferences for different flavors and tastes.
Newborns sense of smell is finely developed by third trimester and they can distinguish between different smell.However, they show preferences for familiar smells of food which their mother’s ate during pregnancy period.
Newborns skin is highly sensitive and they can easily recognize their parent’s touch.So, parents must cuddle them, and ponder their love to these young ones. This helps in building strong bonds and attachment. Infants can even distinguish between hot and cold, hard and soft surfaces and show their preferences. They even have the habit of putting everything in their mouth .This shows their eagerness to touch and feel things around them.