Baby hearing, smell, taste and touch


  • Your baby has been able to hear since he was in the womb – so he’s already familiar with your voice and household noises at birth.
  • He will startle at a loud noise.
  • He will calm at the sound of a soft, soothing noise.
  • Your baby will respond best to high-pitched voices and highly animated faces – hence the ‘baby talk’
  • Your baby can hear you speak but cannot understand what you are saying.

Smell and taste

  • At birth, your baby has well developed sense of smell and taste.
  • He recognises the smell and taste of his milk, and may reject it if the taste or the smell changes.
  • Your baby’s taste buds that differentiate between salty, sweet, sour and bitter are developed at birth.


  • Your baby is born being sensitive to touch.
  • He can feel pain.
  • Your baby will feel loved and secure, through your gentle, caring touch.
  • You can learn to connect and bond with your baby through baby massage.

Common Sense Advice. Share your experiences, tips and advice on the Kidspot Forum.

This article was written by Ella Walsh for Kidspot. Sources include SA Government’s Parenting and Child Health and Raising Children Network.

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