Imagine experiencing everything again for the first time, from colours to sounds to tastes to hugs. That’s what a baby does in her first few months. She’ll have heard a muffled but loud version in the womb – somewhere just quieter than a lawnmower - and will have become accustomed to them in her nine months of growth, but the first few months represent the time when they will actually learn what they mean.
You’ll know if your baby is hearing properly from the first week when a few tests are administered, and companies such as Hidden Hearing can help with hearing symptoms later in life in any event. But assuming everything is OK, your tot will soon grow to love these ten sounds that will soon change from unusual to wonderful:
Since a baby’s vision takes a year to develop, the sound of your voice, or a relative’s voice, will be a crucial stimuli for them to latch onto and enjoy. A warm word can instantly calm a distressed child and bring an eruption of joy.
Just as we love different types of music to reflect or change our moods, so our young children are the same. Indeed there are some who believe that listening to music from the first few weeks of life can boost a child’s intelligence, and also improve their weight gain according to Baby Center.
New toy music/sounds
We will associate things that we like with certain cues, and those cues are often sounds. At first a child won’t understand the link between pressing a button and a buzzer going off, but they’ll soon make the connection and repeat it. Watch the smiles blossom.
Hoovers, washing machines… you name it and your child will probably love it. You probably won’t want to introduce your child to many of the items on television, but the sounds and bright, contrasting colours of that big box will fascinate a child for at least a few months – especially when they take notice of Peppa Pig!
Background, soothing noise often has no meaning other than the creation of a safe, familiar environment that may block out other distressing sounds, according to Troublesome Tots. A low-volume radio, a fan, buzzes and bleeps from around the house, or even the low note of traffic or people outside might be enough to send your little tinker into raptures and possibly sleep.
In the initial months a child will feel a strange ache in their stomach, which disappears with drinking. Soon they will grow to form associations including sounds – the parent rising from the sofa, the shaking sound of the bottle, and even their own gurgling rapidly followed by a warm, deep feeling of satisfaction in the stomach and relaxation.
Most parents are understandably concerned about dogs and cats near babies, as they can claw or bite with little provocation under certain circumstances. But there’s a flip side – children love pets. Animals purring, yapping, jumping and running in wheels when excited can almost develop the same level of excitement in a child.
Anyone with even a small grasp of psychology history will know that we can be taught to associate certain stimuli with a reward. It will take a few months, but your youngster will grow to link the doorbell with friendly visitors, and the door opening at a certain time with the return of a parent from work.
This writer knows of at least one couple who could only get their child to sleep by going on a short, middle-of-the-night drive. The combination of steady movement, a comfortable car seat and the dull volume of an engine combined for blissful thoughts and slumber.
First greeting of the day
If you’re lucky enough to have a child that sleeps throughout the night, you’ll know that the big beaming smile that confronts you first thing in the morning is a result of your warm greeting. You’ll love the smile as much as your little one enjoys your hello.