What Do Babies Know About Their Mother?

What do babies know about their mother? Babies respond to their mother’s touch much more than those of strangers. They reach out to the uterine wall when their mother strokes them. This is a sign that their mother is their primary caregiver, and over a period of a few months, they gradually learn about their mother. Here are some of the important milestones in babies’ early learning process. If you’d like to know more, read on!


Babies can recognize the voice of their mother at birth, but do they know who their mother is before that? One study showed that babies can distinguish the voice of their mother and another female’s voice before birth. The babies’ heart rate rose when they heard the mother’s voice, but fell when they heard a different woman’s voice. Researchers speculated that the increase in heart rate could be due to the excitement of the mother’s voice.

Prenatal experiences

Expectant mothers’ experiences of learning who their mothers are can have far-reaching social and cultural repercussions. The experiences of expectant mothers are rich data that provide insight into how pregnancy affects a woman’s sense of self and the role her mother plays in giving birth. One study suggests that the experiences of expectant mothers influence a woman’s perception of her own identity, whether that be her mother’s voice or a distant female voice.

Recognition of mother’s voice

The recognition of a mother’s voice is one of the earliest signs of childhood development and may help to explain why infants respond to their mothers’ voices. The infant brain processes sounds differently than does the adult brain, confirming that the mother’s voice has a higher hedonic valence than a stranger’s voice. The difference between mother and stranger voices is reflected in differences in the midline brain response to the two sounds.

Recognition of smell

Infants develop a sense of smell while in the womb. Their sense of smell develops during pregnancy, when they are exposed to amniotic fluid. The ability to recognize their mother by smell is preserved throughout their lives, even at the later stages of development. In contrast, paternal olfactory kin recognition may be delayed until adulthood. The research team analyzed the data to identify the exact time that infants begin to recognize their mother’s smell.

Learning to recognise a face

Baby faces are incredibly important to newborns. Their fuzzy vision makes them difficult to identify at first, but over time they will begin to notice and distinguish faces. Babies are most likely to recognise their own face, but can also recognize the faces of familiar people, such as their mother. Eventually, babies will learn to identify faces, and their preferences for different people will become more clear. This is the reason why learning to recognise a mother’s face when babies are born can be extremely beneficial.

Learning to recognise a voice

In studies of infants, there have been a variety of findings regarding the encoding of novel voices, including differences in amplitude between the voice of a mother and a stranger. While the differences in amplitudes between the two voices are not significant in terms of the ability of infants to discriminate them, they are significant in the context of voice recognition. The process of voice recognition includes encoding of a mother’s voice and a stranger’s voice and processing of novel stimuli.