top of page

The five senses of the baby during pregnancy



Many mothers ask what their baby's five senses are like at birth and whether or not they are innate. The first certain element is that the five senses have a link with the central nervous system through the nerve endings. Light, sounds, flavors and smells reach us thanks to specially created 'windows' to capture sensations and allow communication between the external and internal world. Recent literature reports scientific articles demonstrating the multisensory nature of the fetus and its development in utero. This uterine learning will be responsible for the subsequent development and modeling at the central level that will introduce the newborn to the outside world, in a real learning path. In humans, the maturation of all sensory systems occurs almost completely in the uterus.

Let's now analyze the five senses one by one:


  • TOUCH: Already at the eighth week there are tactile receptors in the area around the mouth. These receptors will then extend to the entire body within a few months. From some tests it emerged that by the tenth week the tactile sensitivity of the genital area is already high, at the eleventh that of the palms of the hands, at the twelfth that of the soles of the feet. These areas, even in adults, maintain a higher number of sensory receptors than other parts of the body. The fetus makes the first tactile experiments through the slight contraction of the uterine walls and the presence of amniotic fluid. At the thirty-second week the whole body shows reactions to tactile stimuli.

  • TASTE: Around the tenth week the fetus begins to drink the amniotic fluid, constantly perceiving its taste; swallowing is present and helps, like a massage, to form the skull. The taste organs appear mature by the fourteenth week. At the sixteenth week, with the first swallows, the fetus will begin to activate the digestive system and the ability to reabsorb water in the intestine. It has been seen ultrasonographically that in relation to the presence or absence of swe