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Baby Care
Smell and Taste

{short description of image}Newborn babies are very sensitive to smell and can remember certain smells almost from the moment they are born. They recognize their parent's natural smell and a breast's fed baby can distinguish the smell of her mother's milk from that of any other woman's just a few hours after birth. In fact your baby will start sucking in her sleep if she smells your milk.

A bottle-fed baby will quickly learn to identify her own mother's smell and the smell of nay other family members who also feed her. The smell of people who are familiar to her will help your baby distinguish between family members and people strange to her.

Your baby will use her sense of smell with her other senses to learn about the world around her.

Taste

Smell and taste are intrinsically linked so it is no surprise that a baby is born with the ability to differentiate between tastes. From birth your baby's taste buds can detect sweet, sour, bitter and salty. If offered any of these tastes she will give a {short description of image}definite and consistent reaction to each other. Her taste buds will become more refined with age, but even as a newborn baby she will show appreciation for sweet flavors and grimace when experiencing salty or bitter tastes.

All babies seem to be bourn with a preference for a sweeter taste, probably because breast milk is slightly sweet and it is important that she likes its flavor. This natural preference for sweet things won't harm your baby's teeth providing that you don't indulge her by giving her sweetened juice to drink, or adding sugar to her food when you start to wean her. When you start to introduce solids into your babies diet it is better to encourage her to eat bland foods at first and then savory foods and keep sweet things to a minimum. Your baby will quickly develop her own tastes and you can help by giving her a varied diet once she is old enough to take solids.

By the time your child is around a year old she will use her experience of the different foods she has tried to help distinguish between the more subtle flavors. For example, one brand of baked beans will taste slightly different to another and a year old child will be able to taste the difference.



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