Features of development

osobennostiHow the senses of a baby develop

Around 7-8 weeks of gestation:

  • Baby is sensitive to touch in the area around the mouth.
  • Taste receptors on the tongue are formed.

Around 12-14 weeks of gestation:

  • Baby can put his or her thumb into the mouth for sucking.
  • Baby’s hands open.

Around 20 weeks of gestation:

  • Hearing structures develop.

Around 24 weeks of gestation:

  • Baby is sensitive to touch all over the body, especially around the mouth. Touching the inside of the hand triggers a grasp reflex.
  • Baby can detect different flavours in the amniotic fluid due to maternal diet, which may influence taste preferences later in life.

Around 26-27 weeks of gestation:

  • Baby reacts to bitter taste.
  • Baby starts to move in response to sounds.

Around 28-29 weeks of gestation:

  • Baby grasps with his/her toes when someone touches the ball of the foot.
  • Baby distinguishes sweet and sour tastes.
  • Baby is able to distinguish between voices and is most aware of low frequency sounds. Sleep can be easily disturbed.
  • Only little or no pupillary constriction. The eyelids are thin and eyes may be partly open much of the time.

Around 32 weeks of gestation:

  • Baby recognises the mother’s voice.
  • Pupils constrict in response to light and may therefore protect the eye from bright light.

Around 34 weeks of gestation:

  • Baby prefers sweet tastes.
  • Baby may recognise familiar sounds and begins to ignore some sounds that previously disturbed sleep.
  • Baby starts to look at and follow a moving object or face but does not recognise objects yet. Low light is optimal for interactions.

Around 35-40 weeks of gestation:

  • Baby begins to recognise mother’s voice, language and speech pattern.
  • At 39 to 40 weeks of gestation baby can fix and follow moving object in horizontal, vertical, and diagonal direction and sees greyscales. After 40 weeks of gestation vision develops fast.

This information is based on materials from www.efcni.orgSpecial thanks to EFCNI for their support and advice 

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