From the time your baby is born through their first few months of growth, you will see significant changes in your infant’s perceptual development as it evolves and improves. While some of your infant’s senses are formed while they are in the womb, they develop the majority of their perceptual development within the first few months of life as they continue to mature and are more exposed to new experiences and environments.
As your infant cultivates their perceptual development, you will see them progress with their senses early on. An infant doesn’t have the same perceptual abilities as an adult and gain them as follows from birth and beyond.
- Hearing: Perceptual development of your infant’s sense of hearing is developed early on as your baby is able to distinguish voices while they are in the womb. This is why they recognize their mother’s voice, who frequently talks to them before they are born. While an infant’s sense of hearing is amazing developed at an early age, it continues to improve as they progress and grow. Unlike an adult, who can hear quiet sounds, an infant is unable to distinguish low noises and may sleep right through them without any disruption. They are very alert to loud noises and can become startled easily.
- Vision: Senses such as vision are not fully developed at birth as an infant has very little to see while in the womb. As your infant matures, they begin to see color more easily and are able to focus on objects that are near them. You will notice that your baby is particularly taken with faces and the features that make them up as their perceptual development continues to progress.
- Taste: Taste is profoundly developed in an infant that will gravitate towards sweet things early on. They especially nurse well after you have had something sweet to eat. You will also see your infant develop a taste for salty. They can easily recognize the differences in these tastes and will also have an adverse reaction to things that are sour.
- Smell: Smell is another sense that your infant develops early on as this is how they recognize their mother and can be calmed by her when she is near. Your infant can recognize perfumes and will respond well to pleasant smells. Foul smells, like an adult, can turn an infant off and may be the reason they are crying or uncomfortable.
- Touch: Keeping your infant comfortable also requires the sense of touch. Babies enjoy being touched and nurtured. This is a way to soothe and calm them and is one of the reasons techniques such as baby massage work so well with infants. They love to feel that closeness, knowing that they are protected and safe.
As your infant grows, you will see their perceptual development increase as they become more aware of their surroundings. If you child is experiencing delays in their perceptual development, contact Early Developmental Therapy Consultants. It can help your infant advance their abilities with their senses to ensure further developmental delays don’t occur.