The day new parents get to take their little baby home from the hospital is a magical one. No matter what the journey was to get to that moment, that moment is always amazing and exciting. However, it is also a big step because a baby’s home can affect them positively and negatively as they pick up on almost everything.
Newborns are more complex than people think and can pick up on things quite easily. Babies although unable to move around with ease or communicate in words during the early stages of life they can indeed sense the vibe in a room or the emotions of their mother.
There are many things a newborn can pick up on in the world around them specifically in their own home, an environment that they get to known very well, very fast. From stress and tension to joy and language, our babies are like sponges and soak in new information all the time.
So, feed your curiosity and find out just what your newborn may be picking up on in your home by reading this article. Here are 20 things newborns pick up on in the home.
Stress can affect a baby even before the mother has birthed them. When in the womb if a pregnant woman is experiencing extreme stress (above average levels) the fetus can often pick up on this negativity and this is the same when they enter the world.
According to the Huffington Post, a study has shown, "Infants can sense when their mothers are stressed. Babies may not be able to convey complex emotions, but they can still feel what their mothers are feeling, at least when it comes to stress."
We all know that babies are more susceptible to illnesses as their immune systems are not fully established when they are so young but that is not what is meant in this case when it comes to illnesses. Newborns can tell when their carer is ill and will often try to comfort you, in their own way.
Some mothers I spoke to stated that when they were sick and looking after their newborns, they noticed their little ones wanted to be held/cuddled more. They put this down to feeling protective and sensing that their mom was sick.
Quite sweet, really!
Enough of the negative things babies pick up on, for now, let’s talk about something happy. Newborns really do pick up on joy! They notice when people around them- specifically mom or dad- are positive and happy. They sense this emotion and it will make them feel content, knowing that their caregivers are relaxed.
They may not know what they are feeling or what happy and sad means but they can sense it from their mom or dad.
If you try your best to give out the vibe of joy then your baby will likely react to that positively although of course, this is not always possible.
We all strive for that happy family unit, no matter who that may entail we all want to have a great support system and people that your child can look to for guidance. But although love should be at the center of a family unit, there can be family feuds which your baby may pick up on.
Tension is never a nice feeling and as an adult, you know when a room has high tension, a baby can feel that same feeling. This may make the baby distressed and uncomfortable so it is best to try to resolve the tension quickly and not let arguments drag out or hold grudges.
Breastmilk is an amazing substance that mothers produce for their babies and babies know it too. A newborn is attached to breastmilk from birth and can sense where it is and when it’s too far away- isn't that fascinating?
This, of course, is all based on smell and some say is a survival instinct that a newborn has.
According to a Parents.com article about a baby’s sense of smell, "At birth, a newborn is drawn to the smell of breast milk; by 2 weeks, a baby can tell the difference between the scent of his mother's breast milk and another mom's milk."
We all need to be comforted from time to time and our loved ones always seem to know when we need it and how to comfort us. By loved ones I don't just mean parents, siblings or partners, I mean our little ones too.
It's all in the physical touch and newborns are little pros at comfort, snuggling up to mommy all the time.
A newborn can sense emotions as I mentioned and can tell when their loved ones need comforting too. They may only be little but a cuddle goes a long way and that's exactly what they do to comfort you.
"Babies and toddlers often get clingy and cry if you or their other carers leave them, even for a short time. Separation anxiety and fear of strangers is common in young children", reports nhs.co.uk.
Separation anxiety is very difficult and many babies and parents go through it.
You dread leaving your baby with someone else knowing that both of you will be upset but have you ever noticed how your baby seems to know their mom is leaving hours or even days before they even do? They get upset and clingy knowing what is ahead of them. Strange the things a newborn can sense.
According to What To Expect, "Many babies laugh out loud for the first time when they're 3 or 4 months old, although the first laugh may come later for many other babies. Baby's first laugh might be inspired by something as simple as seeing a favorite toy, pet or person."
There is no cuter sound than a baby's laugh and although there may be something that causes them to laugh, they can also pick up on laughter when they hear it by mimicking mom, dad or others around them.
Babies need a lot of attention and they learn very quickly how to get it. As parents, we hear our baby cry and run to their aid or if they show a smile or even just look at us with those beautiful eyes we cuddle them. There are many ways babies learn to get attention and we teach these to them through cause and reaction.
Some parents worry that they may 'spoil' their newborn by reacting every time they cry but according to HealthyChildren.org this is untrue, "You cannot spoil a young baby by giving her attention, and if you answer her calls for help, she'll cry less overall."
Isn't it lovely how our children connect to us from the beginning, they know who their family is and who they feel safe around right from the start?
A newborn will show this by being calm and content around their 'safe people' and perhaps getting upset when they are apart from them.
There are a couple of foolproof ways to get a newborn to recognize someone as a "safe person": "Regularly touch and cuddle your newborn. Try rocking them or holding them against you, skin on skin. Respond to crying. You might not always be able to tell why your newborn is crying. Making your newborn feel safe."
Following on from the previous point, newborn babies know who they feel safe with meaning they can also sense when someone is a stranger.
Many babies don't take well to strangers and it may take a few times of meeting to form a bond with someone who is not a primary caregiver. Using all their senses babies can tell if they have met a person before and can often be distressed if being held by someone unfamiliar.
"Babies prefer familiar adults, they might react to strangers by crying or fussing, going very quiet, looking [scared] or hiding," as per RaisingChild.net.
Newborns are very in-tune with voices, especially those who are with them often like mom or dad. As a result, they can guess your emotion through your tone and alter their reactions accordingly.
According to The Telegraph, "Dr Gattis said that children respond to "tone" clues in their parents' speech from an early age. She said: "Tone of voice is a really useful signal to what someone is thinking. ... "At the stage of life before children get access to words and language, parents' tone is exaggerated when speaking to babies."
All five senses have their uses and from a very young, age we start to use them. But before vision stops being blurred or taste is established, our sense of smell is strong from the beginning.
A newborn may not be able to identify flowers by smell but they sure can identify who their mom is.
Parenting.com explains, "Even before birth, fetuses can smell. One study found that 3-day-old infants could recognize the specific smell of their mom's amniotic fluid. 2. At birth, a newborn is drawn to the smell of breast milk; by 2 weeks, a baby can tell the difference between the scent of his mother's breast milk and another mom's milk."
"Music won't make your baby smarter but it may make them happier," states Parents.com.
Music is a passion and hobby for a lot of people; it would be hard to find someone on this planet who does not enjoy music. Even babies as young as a day old (or even before birth when they are still in their mother's womb) love music.
One musical sound they tend to love the most is the sound of their Mother singing to them. Many women sing to their pregnant bellies and believe it or not the fetus can hear this so when they enter the world this brings them comfort and joy.
Just like the cute picture above, many babies copy the expressions of those around them once their eyesight has developed enough.
Happy, sad, angry, surprised -- show a baby any one of these expressions once and they will be sure to pick up on it quick as lightning, even as of the newborn stage.
Parentingcounts.org held a study that showed just how quickly infants can mimic expressions, "Soon after birth, babies are already capable of imitating the emotional expressions they see on the faces of others. In one study, infants only 36 hours old showed evidence of imitating an adult's expression."
"Your baby may turn to you when you call her name from as early as a few weeks old", says Parents.com.
Some may say they only do this because they recognize the voice of the person saying their name but babies are smarter than you think and could well be responding to their name.
They also quickly learn the titles 'Mummy' and 'Daddy' or other variations of this and can relate this to the person they know and love. Babies are very smart, indeed.
A newborn's sight takes a little while to establish itself but when it comes to hearing, it is amazing what a newborn baby can recognize. From listening to those around them, specifically the people they are with most often or live with, newborns start to recognize voices.
When it comes to their mother's voice, however, newborn babies know it all too well before they are even born. Upon entering the world, they already know who their mama is based on many things, namely her voice.
"Around the seventh and eighth month, a fetus's heart rate slows down slightly whenever his mother is speaking, indicating that mom's voice has a calming effect. By the time they're born, babies can actually recognize their mother's voice," states Parents.com.
Communicating with a small baby can be difficult because they cannot talk which is one of the reasons some parents decide to teach some baby sign.
By definition, "Baby sign language is the use of manual signing allowing infants and toddlers to communicate emotions, desires, and objects prior to spoken language development."
It may sound silly to think that a newborn can learn sign language but many parents start it from this stage meaning by the time they are a few months old they are fluent in baby sign. I personally taught my daughter baby signs from a young age and she used them often.
Is the baby too hot? Is the baby too cold? Parents often worry about this because a baby can be negatively affected if their temperature is too high or too low.
Although newborn babies cannot regulate their own temperature for a few months, they do try to warm themselves up by wrapping their arms around themselves if they are too cold and kicking blankets off if they are too hot.
For the most part, however, they need adults to make sure they are at a good temperature.
It is a known fact that babies whose parents know a second or third language, usually take longer to start speaking. But when they do finally start, they display a wealth of knowledge on communicating and become fluent in two or more languages from a very young age as they start learning these languages from birth.
An article on Parents.com states "Every infant is born with the ability to mimic the sounds of any language. ... If you are a bilingual family (or have a bilingual caregiver), have one parent (and/or caregiver) speak the second language to the baby all the time so he has a chance to become fully "immersed" in it."
References: huffingtonpost.com, whattoexpect.com, healthychildren.org, parents.com, nhs.co.uk, telegraph.co.uk, healthychildren.org, raisingchildren.net,