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What sights, sounds, and tastes do babies prefer?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Even though they can't express their opinions right from the start, babies have already formed quite a few likes and dislikes -- especially when it comes to having their senses stimulated. Here's what babies tend to prefer:

  • VISUAL: Infants will fixate on a face soon after birth. They like faces as well as toys with high-contrast patterns.
  • HEARING: Infants immediately recognize their mother's voice and tend to be sensitive to very high and very low frequencies.
  • TOUCH: Skin-to-skin contact stimulates the release of oxytocin, a hormone that facilitates bonding. So even if you're not breast feeding, it's a good idea to hold your child to your chest while you're bottle feeding.
  • SMELL AND TASTE: Infants prefer sweet tastes, but they can distinguish among sweet, bitter, and sour. (Fun fact: Two-day-old babies who breast-feed can distinguish their mother's milk from others based on smell alone.)
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.