Babies’ eyes form during the first trimester, but they are closed until about the seventh month. Once they open, the fetus can see, but there is not much light to see by inside the womb. In fact, some doctors believe the fetus can detect a faint glow from inside mom’s belly. But this is not proven by scientific studies.
Developing a sense of touch
Humans develop a sense of touch shortly after birth, but this development is not completely dependent on the womb. Babies can sense vibrations from the mother’s womb, and they also engage in self-touching as they learn how to distinguish objects in the world. Babies are able to translate tactile information into a 3-D image, which helps them learn to recognize new things in their environment.
Developing a fine ear for certain sounds
The auditory system of a baby develops as the child grows. This is why, by the time they’re about four weeks old, a baby’s ears are almost a full size of a mango. Once they’re born, they continue to develop and will eventually have the same ability to distinguish different sounds as their parents do. The brain will also begin to designate areas for various senses.
Absorbing language in the womb
Babies are exposed to language long before they leave the womb. In fact, they are able to distinguish between mother’s voice and foreign language as early as 30 weeks of gestation. As such, they should be exposed to various sounds and techniques in the first few months of life. As a matter of fact, it’s recommended for parents to engage in discussion and early exposure with their newborns even before they come out of the womb.
Developing a sense of balance
Developing a sense of balance when babies are young is not difficult. The vestibular system is already active in the womb and can be stimulated by movement. It’s easy to help your baby develop a healthy sense of balance through gentle movements with you. Your baby’s body does the majority of the work in keeping them balanced, but gentle movements can help your baby learn to balance.
Developing a sense of smell
As babies develop in the uterus, their sense of smell begins to take shape. By the end of the first trimester, they can detect smells in their mother’s milk and can navigate to it on their own. By the time they are one week old, babies can recognize a different mother’s milk from that of their own. The same is true of food.