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Stages of Sense Development in The First Year of a Child’s Life

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Stages of sense development in children

In the first year of a child’s life they do not stop learning. An important part is learning their senses. Children have to learn touch, taste, smell, sight and sound. It is important to learn these as they need them to make sense of the world. Some of the senses to start life with are connected to survival such as taste and smell and being able to hold onto a finger. Over a period of months babies will start to use their senses for learning as they start to grow and develop. Babies make sensory development over the first year of their lives as they hit different ages their stages start to develop and should hit certain criteria. New-born baby’s brains are not co-ordinated with vision to each eye and that means they can only follow objects that are close to their face and not objects that are far away. They are also very sensitive to light at their age. They also have reflexes to grasp movements if an object is put into the hand and sucking movements if anything is put near their mouths.

At one month old babies sensory development increases and they start to get startled in response to sudden noises. Babies at this age also learn to stop crying when held or spoken to. They can now start to follow movements of a toy or a person’s face that are held near to them, it helps if the colors contrast. It is thought and believed that babies do not yet see colors yet and therefore see colors as light or dark instead. Babies would also learn to feed correctly and will start to suck other items that they get hold of. Babies will also start to turn their heads towards the light and towards a human voice.

When babies turn three months old they will start to move their heads to follow objects up to 15-25cm away from their face and will start to stare at human faces. Babies at three months old like to watch the movements of their own hands and can hold a rattle and can shake it around but can’t coordinate eye contact with the toy whilst it moves. Babies can now see colors and is able to differentiate between them. Babies start to ‘coo’ to reply to familiar adults touch or sound and gets excited at the sound of food being prepared.

At six months old babies can pass different toys from hand to hand. They can also investigate the source of sound and can recognize familiar sounds and voices across the room. They also grab/touch a bottle or their mother’s breast whilst being fed. Weather when babies start weaning they may start reject tastes or textures that they do not like such as certain flavors like coconut. Babies also put everything in their mouth at this age to explore it and figure out what the object feels like or if it is food. At this age they develop their binocular vision (vision using two eyes with overlapping fields of view, allowing good perception of depth). This means they can hold onto a toy that is spotted in their binocular vision.

At nine months old, babies start to poke items with their index finger to figure out what the object is before actually holding the item. Once they have the object in their hands babies start to learn pincer grasp to hold objects or food accurately. Babies also know how to pick up and object that is in reach and how to drop an object now and can now be very messy; this also means they can drop food they don’t like on the floor. Their hearing also starts to improve and they start to listen out for sounds that they hear every day and start to understand their significance. Babies still put everything in their mouths and are still weaning so they may reject certain foods, they are also exploring lumpy foods.

When babies reach the 12 month (1 year) stage, they can use pincer grasp to pick up objects more easily and have learnt how to drop and throw things when they wish to. They will also start to develop their personality such as taking a shine to certain toys such as toys that make noise or nursery rhymes. They will also start to favor certain foods too others and will make it clearer when they dislike a certain food. They will still like to put objects into their mouths but will start to show interest in objects and will start to explore them through touch and sight.

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Stages of Sense Development in the First Year of a Child’s Life. (2019, April 26). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from
“Stages of Sense Development in the First Year of a Child’s Life.” GradesFixer, 26 Apr. 2019,
Stages of Sense Development in the First Year of a Child’s Life. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Sept. 2022].
Stages of Sense Development in the First Year of a Child’s Life [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Apr 26 [cited 2022 Sept 29]. Available from:
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