When Do Babies Start To Recognize People & Places?

Your baby’s recognition of you grows every day from even before they are born. Even before they are born, they start to recognize what your voice sounds like. After they are born, they watch your face and listen to your voice. As you hold them and feed them, they learn to recognize your scent and the feel of your skin.   

Newborn with Mother
Photo by Jimmy Conover

When Does Your Baby Recognize Your Voice?

Studies have shown that babies recognize their mothers’ voices immediately after birth and will use all the means at their disposal to hear their mother’s voice better than other female voices. The fact that prenatal experiences influence a baby’s vocal recognition implies that the ability to recognize their mother’s voice is formed before the baby is born.

As your baby continues to hear sounds from different speakers, they will eventually become more familiar with those sounds. As they start to become more aware of their emotions, they begin to recognize and form a preference for their parents’ voice, as well as the voices of family and friends.

When Do Babies Start to Recognize Their Fathers?

It is believed that babies can respond to and recognize their father’s voice from the womb. If your husband takes time to talk to your baby belly, your baby will be more likely to recognize his voice after they are born. The more the father is involved with the intense level of care a newborn requires, the more quickly your baby will recognize and react to him.

When Do Babies Start to Recognize Other Family Members?

Parents are recognized within the first week of life, and doctors believe the baby recognizes mom within the first days. However, grandparents, aunts, cousins, friends, and others will be recognized during the baby’s first year of life. Sometimes babies recognize these individuals within weeks if they spend a significant amount of time with the baby. For other babies, who don’t see these individuals regularly, it takes longer.

Babies Recognizing People by Smell

When you’re feeding or otherwise in close contact with your baby, you are helping your child become more familiar with your unique smells. Researchers have found that babies can detect differences in the aromas of the milk they are fed and determine if the food their mother is giving them is their own mother’s milk or someone else’s. Newborns are born smelling of their mother’s scent, and this comforting scent may help calm or soothe your newborn.

When Do Babies Start Recognizing Places?

Places take longer for babies to recognize simply because their eyesight has bit developed fully yet. Recognizing places requires more developed visual skills than seeing your face up close does. However, your baby will know when they are at home because of the smell and other elements. 

As your baby’s eyesight strengthens, he will be able to recognize other places he visits regularly. You can expect your baby to begin seeing better by three or four months, and then each month, their eyesight will be stronger and able to recognize more places.

What Happens if My Baby Doesn’t Seem to Recognize People or Places?

If your baby does not begin recognizing people and places as they age, you should consider discussing your concerns with your pediatrician. It is possible your baby might need glasses or has some other problem with their vision. Don’t wait too long to mention this to your pediatrician. The sooner a problem is discovered, the better the chance of a favorable outcome.

If you are a first-time parent, you are probably anxious for your baby to recognize you and your favorite places to reassure you all is well. Keep in mind that it takes time. By the time your baby is a few months old, rest assured your baby will recognize who you are and show you so with a great big smile.