Blue Suit Mom

Ways to Protect Your Child’s Senses of Sight, Smell & Hearing

As parents, it’s our job to protect our children from day one. When babies are born, their senses are extremely strong. They are able to sense things without the filter that adults have developed over time. So the younger your child, the more protection they need. Here are some tips to assess and protect your child’s sense of smell, sight and hearing.

Smell

Child smelling flowerAccording to Parenting.com, your baby’s sense of smell is one of the earliest senses to develop in the fetus because smells cross amniotic fluid. In fact, by the time mom reaches the end of her first trimester, your baby can smell the foods she is eating! Also, unborn babies are aware of unpleasant smells like cigarette smoke. And once baby is a week old, it can actually distinguish the difference in smell of its mother’s breast milk and that of another woman.

So how can you nurture and protect your baby’s sense of smell? To soothe baby, keep a piece of clothing near your baby that smells like you. Lavender, chamomile, vanilla and rose are also very soothing scents for babies and promote sleep.

Sight

Protecting your baby’s sight is something that should be considered from an early age. Newborns can see contrasting colors like shades of black and white, and can see things about eight to 12 inches from their eyes. When your baby reaches six weeks, he or she can see things up to 20 feet away. Once your baby is a few months old, and eye strength has increased, they start to see colors that aren’t as contrasting and by 12 months, babies have gained depth perception, as well.

If you’d like to nourish your child’s sense of sight, consider outfitting the nursery with bright colors and patterns as well as playing games like peek-a-boo, which helps with hand/eye coordination. Doctors also say that you can encourage healthy visual skills with visually stimulating toys like puzzles, finger paints and modeling clay.

Protect your child’s sight by eating right both during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Also, be sure your child’s eyes are protected from the sun with UV-coated lenses, particularly important for kids with light eye colors. Protect their eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays with stylish sunglasses and hats that shield them from the sun. Also, be sure to have your child’s vision checked annually, starting at a year old.

Hearing

Experts say that babies have a strong sense of hearing. In fact, a baby’s sense of hearing is active in the womb, and they even can recognize their own mothers’ voices. Doctors say that you can assess that your baby is hearing properly if he or she turns toward you when you speak. At two months old, babies start responding to their parents’ voices by making noises and even trying to repeat them.

To ensure your baby’s sense of hearing remains strong, be sure he or she isn’t around a lot of loud noises like blasting music or even things like loud tools and appliances, which could hurt their hearing. Further, your baby should have his or her hearing testing during the first month of birth. Parents are also advised to keep an eye on their baby’s responsiveness and verbal cues. They say if your child is not babbling by about seven months old, there could be an issue.

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