How does a newborn baby recognize their mother?


  • Author Evyline Kawira
  • Published November 21, 2022
  • Word count 1,090

Motherhood is a powerful experience, but it can sometimes be confusing. Why do babies cry when they’re hungry?

How does a newborn baby recognize their mother? And why do they have to be held constantly at first? Here’s the science behind all this.

The newborn baby will start recognizing the voice of their mothers even before birth. A mother can speak with their child when still in the womb. It happens during 7-8 months of pregnancy.

Apart from voice, a newborn baby can also recognize her mother by the scent and react to them. When we talk about the scent, we are not referring to any sought of perfume but the natural smell from the mother. The baby can identify her mothers after getting into contact with them.

For example, When one of my friends delivered her firstborn child, she underwent a cesarean. Soon after giving birth, the midwives took the baby to dress her up. However, during this time, the baby was crying, but she kept quiet just after being brought back to the mother.

Besides, when it comes to sight, after only a few minutes of exposure to her mother, they can be able to identify them. Babies recognize the gender of other babies even if cross-dressed. They have a good mentality and are eager to learn.

Newborn babies can recognize their mothers just after birth. During this period, they can gaze at their mother for an hour before they sleep.

Although some researchers’ findings show that newborns cannot accommodate long-distance objects, newborns can discriminate different things under suitable conditions just like adults.

Some studies show that a newborn baby can be able to track objects just as adults. For example, you will find newborn babies gazing everywhere, where their mothers will go, and crying when they leave them.

How the mind of a newborn baby operates

newborn baby recognize their mother

In today’s generation, newborn babies know almost everything they need. Just after birth, they coordinate their senses, such as they turn their heads when they hear a sound, covering their eyes from excess light, identifying the breast, suckling, and breathing appropriately.

According to research, newborns’ sense of taste begins fourteen weeks after conception, and hearing estimates from twenty weeks.

Just after gestation, all the parts are placed so the newborn can use their senses appropriately.

Science confirms that newborn babies are social beings just like adults. They can form good relationships just like other beings, express themselves and communicate effectively in case of problems.

When does a baby recognize their names?

newborn recognize their mother

This happens during language development between 10 and 18 months of age. At this age, word count aids in assessing and understanding expressive skills and their ability to make ideas.

A newborn can have an everyday language but fail to speak. For example, in children who are deaf, a child may have high intelligence but cannot speak, and on the other side, a child may talk but fail to use speech to communicate, e.g., autism.

Language development in infant is divided into three:

(a) Pre-speech

(b) Naming

(c) Word combination


Pre-speech begins from (0-10months).

At about three months, the baby starts vocalizing anytime they hear an adult speak. You will find them most of the time keenly listening to what an adult is saying and then mimicking them.

At around six months, the baby starts babbling and soon begins to imitate conversations. You will hear them vocalize terms such as (mama) and (dada) which their parents interpret as actual words. This motivates them to keep on learning.


Naming is the period between 10-18 months.

At this stage, the baby understands that people have names and objects have labels.

The infant starts using the names such as (mama) and (dada) appropriately after being reinforced by their parents.

By 12 months, some infants can understand more than 100 words and follow simple signals and gestures.

At this naming period, the baby starts recognizing their names and other people’s names.

Word combination

This is a period between 18-24 months.

At this stage, the baby begins to combine words after pronouncing their first words. They start combining words such as “mommy cup” when referring to being given the cup by the mother. For example, an infant may point to a “mommy’s spoon” instead of saying “spoon.”

At this stage, a stranger can understand 50% of what the infant is trying to speak out.

Can a newborn feel love?

Yes, newborn babies can feel loved though it takes a long time before they understand their emotions.

Creating a bond between a mother and a baby is essential since it makes them feel loved.

Can a newborn baby get confused about who their mom is?

newborn recognize their mother

Yes, many newborn babies can get confused if they are adopted and do not have the time to create a bond with their mothers.

Children can recognize their mothers through their bond, voice, scent, breastfeeding and affection during birth.

However, if a baby is adopted just after birth and never grows with their mother, they quickly get confused about their biological mother.

Do babies get confused if a mother and a nanny raise them simultaneously?

It is rare for children to get confused; however, it depends. Most children bond more with the nannies than their mothers since they spend a lot of time with them, bringing confusion on who raised them.

They learn different cultures from their nannies as compared to their mothers. They also end up loving their nanny more than their mothers.

Ways for kids to bond with their parents

newborn recognize their mother

Have time with your kids

Spending time with your kids is always good because it creates that bond between you and your kids. They feel loved and thus can share any problem they are experiencing.

Do not see them as a burden.

Always treat them with love and care. For example, take them for a ride or let them accompany you whenever you go shopping or to grocery stores.

Prove to them that you are their parents

Show them love and affection. Let them understand that you are there for them. Love them and keep communication open. For example, many children can develop a mental illness due to the parent not having time with them.


Much of what we believe about newborns traditionally is false. Newborn babies are not simple but complex beings with highly advanced thoughts. They sense smell, hear, taste, and even sleep as adults.

This article is from which a site about parenting and mothers. The article helps you solve different problems that arise during parenthood. It also helps mothers how newborn babies recognize them.

Article source:
This article has been viewed 647 times.

Rate article

Article comments

There are no posted comments.

Related articles