For Parents
0-3 months
Understanding the Senses

Understanding the Senses

July 7, 2022

Your baby is learning through their 6 senses—sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell, and motion. By understanding his senses you can help promote development.


Gazing into your eyes, watching your facial expressions, observing your interactions with other people, and even watching the ceiling fan are all beneficial to your baby. At the beginning of this stage, he can only see black and white. By the end of 3 months he’ll be able to see the range of colors.


Touch can excite or calm your baby. He’s learning to know you by the way you pick him up, hold him, touch him, and put him down. Touch is also his way of learning and mastering new skills.


Your baby responds to speech with rhythm (like sing-song speech). He’ll also enjoy listening to music. Don’t be surprised if he starts to cry in reaction to harsh sounds. Even arguments can make him upset because they sound scary.


By the end of this period, your baby will begin using his mouth to explore and learn. He’s not on solids until 4-6 months, but he’s tasting things well before that. Encourage this exploration, but always under your careful attention. In the long-term, it’s more important that you allow your baby to explore his environment with his mouth than to worry about germs.


Starting at birth a caregiver’s smell is especially comforting to your baby. By the end of this period your baby will start to remember other familiar smells.


The combination of motion and rhythm gives your baby balance and first began in the womb. Motion and rhythm will continue to be great ways to soothe your baby and to get his attention during the first 3 years.

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