Sensory Development in the First Year

In the first year of life, your baby will develop faster than any other time in their lives. Soon after birth their sight will be limited but senses such as touch, hearing and smell are already fully developed. Your baby will crave skin to skin contact which is physiologically beneficial to regulate their temperature and heart rate. They will be attracted the sweet taste of breast or formula milk and can start to recognise familiar sounds. In the first three months, cuddles are the best way to support your baby and you cannot spoil them. Try regular skin to skin contact, talking/singing to your baby and the introduction of a favourite blanket. This will allow your baby to become familiar to your sounds and smell, which in turn will reassure and settle them.

Around three months, your baby will be able to track your movements within a limited distance and maintain eye contact. Their hearing will have developed and they can recognise and react to more sound. You may also find they start to experiment with making different sounds which will melt your heart. This is a great time to start introducing some toys to stimulate their development. Babies love faces, which is why the Rosa and Bo brand is centred around engaging characters with added sensory benefits.

As your baby starts to move towards a weaning age, they are ready for new flavours but their palate will be sensitive. This is why our teething toys are very mildly flavoured. The natural extract of mint is added during the manufacture process to stimulate their taste buds. It’s a great flavour in preparation for brushing their little teeth, which may have already made an appearance! Always try and stimulate your baby with new sights, smells and sounds. You may find they prefer to face-out when being held. Just be aware that sometimes the world can be a little over-stimulating to a little one and if they seem fussy, a nice cuddle may be the remedy.


In the second part of their first year your baby will use all their senses to recognise people, words and their surroundings. They will start to appreciate texture and begin to really enjoy touching everything. This is a great time to introduce a variety of new experiences using both food and toys. It is also the time most babies find those little feet and show us how flexible they can be!

As your baby approaches their end of their first year their eyesight will have improved dramatically. Their grabbing skill will have developed and therefore it is a good idea to introduce toys that reward them for their engagement. Try to choose toys that will encourage hand to eye coordination. Our chiming Bo Bunny creates a beautiful, relaxing chiming noise once they reach out and grab him. You may still need to do quite a bit of demonstrating yourself, practice make perfect for little hands!



Written by Laura Mudie - mummy, midwife and owner at Rosa & Bo

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