TOUCH. This feeling develops first and works from the sixth month of intrauterine life.
After birth, the sensations become more specific. Thanks to the many receptors on the skin, the baby receives various information: cold, warm, hard, wet, painful. Most of the receptors are on the hands and lips.
Breastfeeding helps the development of connections between different sensations: the child touches her mother’s body, tastes milk, smells, listens to the mother and sometimes looks at her. Starting from 4–5 months, he feels the objects with his hands, and then puts them in his mouth. Touching himself and sucking the fingers and toes, the child knows his body.
Moving, gets an idea of its size and learns to produce movement: stretches out his hand to grab the toy.
Sense of balance. The newborn does not hold the head, the tone of its muscles is lowered. Thanks to the vestibular apparatus, he feels that he is being held, and later he will be able to find reference points in space.
At about 6 months, the peak of sensitivity to changes in “gravitational sensations” begins: the baby begins to actively move its head. A little later, he begins to swing, roll over on his side: the head changes its position relative to the body, stimulating the balance system in the inner ear.
The vestibular apparatus often works “paired” with vision and finally matures between 7 and 10 years.
HEARING. He is still thin in the womb and almost perfect at birth. The newborn can distinguish between low and high sounds, familiar and unaccustomed, native language and foreign, even voices.
He prefers high tones. At the age of 1 month, he shudders at harsh sounds. In 3 months – he is able to find the source of the sound and turn his head to it.
At 5 months, he lifts or turns his head when he hears his name, even if it is quite noisy in the room. By the sixth or seventh month, babbling time is coming – this is an important step in mastering the language.
It is necessary to check the hearing of a child who does not babble by 8 months or does it rarely.
VISION. From the first hours of life, the child sees you if you are near or right in front of him.
Everything else is in gray fog. Researchers have shown that the baby recognizes faces and from the first weeks of life distinguishes mom and dad from other people. He loves movement: when an object moves in his field of view, he often fixes his eyes on him, and then watches him with his eyes and sometimes turns his head.
There are cases when a child of several days of age was stretching his arms to touch the face of a person who smiles or speaks to him. At 4 months he keeps a close eye on a slowly moving object.
He distinguishes bright colors and some shades: pink and red, for example. The kid is able to estimate the distance to the toy.
Starting from 5-6 months, his eyes help him to explore what he holds in his hands. Over time, his visual abilities continue to sharpen: he begins to perceive the depth of space, expands the field of vision, its acuity, and so on.
And only at 10 years old, the child’s visual capabilities reach the level of an adult.
Taste and smell. These two sensations are closely related. The sense of smell plays an important role from the very beginning of a baby’s life: a newborn can recognize the smell of its amniotic fluid.
During breastfeeding, he is able to distinguish breast milk from the other. He identifies the smell of the mother from the third day of life.
If the father often deals with the child, he also recognizes its smell. Olfactory abilities develop in learning, while taste is an innate gift. This was proved by researcher Jacob Steiner, who gave babies to taste the food of four basic types of tastes.
Sweet gave them great pleasure, and sour and bitter caused rejection. It follows from this that taste perception is reflexive. As food becomes more diverse, the child establishes an ever closer relationship between taste and smell.
His abilities to identify them increase with experience. They vary greatly from child to child, with girls apparently more sensitive to tastes and smells than boys.
There is a contact!
The newborn is a little confused after the shock of birth. To calm down, he needs to touch your skin, feel caress, hear your voice.
It is known that the child hears the mother several weeks before the birth and distinguishes her voice from others. All this is necessary so that he can find his mother as quickly as possible and establish the strongest contact with her.
After all, his physical and mental development continues actively after birth. And for this he needs other people, so his sensory abilities are primarily designed to establish contact with those who will take care of him.
When the baby opens his eyes, he distinguishes objects only at a distance of 20–35 cm. That is what it takes to see a mother while she is in her arms.
Further space is blurry, even further – the emptiness. The same with touch: at first, the newborn uses it only to feel how the mother feeds him, cracks, tickles. He concentrates on communicating with her.
The child’s sense organs are less developed than adults. He does not need the extras, and special mechanisms regulate this.
For a long time it was believed that each of the sense organs in young children works on its own. Logically, the newborn should move from simple to complex.
But it turned out to be a delusion. The ability to turn the head to the sound or stretch the arm to a close object is given from birth.
This is a motor reaction (perception – action). The possibility of eyes recognizing an object that the child had previously held in his mouth or in his hand speaks of his other ability: to relate two sensations, visual and tactile.
To understand this nuance, imagine that you are holding a rattle in your baby’s hand and shake it gently. A few years ago it was believed that, although the child sees a rattle, hears its sound and touches it, these three sensations are in no way connected with each other in his mind. As if he perceived three different objects: one rattles, the other has a visible form, and the third feels to the touch.
But in that case, how does he realize in a few weeks that these three sensations belong to the same object? Or in a more general sense – that the world does not consist of fragmented parts? In other words: this means that the child has more opportunities than we tend to endow him.
He recognizes the rattle, establishing a connection between what he sees and what he touches with his hand or mouth.
The world of his sensations is more integral than previously thought, and at the same time more complex. Between a smooth ball and a ball with pimples, the child will choose the last one. It is more interesting to lick or scratch.
Spending a huge amount of energy in the first months, babies sleep a lot and get tired quickly, so over-stimulating their activity is simply useless.
The baby is from 18 to 20 weeks old, he has increased energy, so he sleeps less. Take a closer look at him – he has already overcome a certain line: he knows how to use pens, waves them, puts them in his mouth for himself and for you, when you speak.
If you show him some object, he tries to take it. Over with the innate grasp reflex, when his hand was unclenched and clenched against the will on all objects that were close to the palm.
I’ll take and bite
The infant uses its eyes, ears, fingers, and even its tongue for a specific purpose — to know reality. To understand the principles of its organization, the structure of objects, their shape and color, you need to compare the data obtained with already known things. But the child has nothing to compare.
He will form his idea of the world during games and socializing, and in this he will be helped by the ability to coordinate sensations. A teddy bear, a cube, a spoon, a piece of bread – in a word, everything that is within his reach, he grabs, shakes, turns, squeezes, shifts from hand to hand and often puts it in his mouth.
When choosing what to send to your mouth, your baby uses primarily eyes and sometimes her hands. Over time, this habit manifests itself more and more clearly.
Thanks to the most diverse experiments, the practical mind of the child develops. He remembers that his movements can affect the surrounding objects.
And the awareness of this ability causes in him an insatiable desire to touch everything.
More skillfully moving in space and expanding the field of view, he gets more opportunities for action. Now he needs to learn to choose. The baby will have to decide whether to grab or release one or another object, turn his head to make a noise or not, put this delicacy or some other thing in his mouth, and so on.
By what criteria does he do it? It is not known, however, some of the features of his future character on closer examination are already distinguishable. He can give preference to tactile sensations (constantly messing with toys and books, moving objects from place to place), indulge in contemplation: sitting in an arena to watch how you chore around the housework … Some children trust their ears more: they attentively listen to noises, music, make sounds, all the time babbling something under his breath.
But do not try to rank the baby to a specific type: many children do not have pronounced preferences, they are attracted to all at once. In this case, they need to constantly offer all new and diverse games and respond favorably to their frequently changing addictions.