Taste – birth to four months

Baby is born with taste buds ready to go but these need to finish developing.

Baby can tell different flavours but only likes sweet tastes at this time.

Breastfeed baby where possible and safe because:

  • familiar flavours in mother’s milk remind baby of the womb and are soothing
  • the sweet taste connects to pleasure areas of the brain, which calms baby’s body movements and leads to less crying and lower heart rate
  • breastmilk has fats needed to wire up baby’s brain
  • the different things mum eats changes the flavour of breastmilk, giving baby lots of flavour experiences, which can shape what foods baby likes later
  • breastmilk is a complete diet and has what baby needs to stay healthy and fight infection
  • if a nursing mother drinks alcohol, it may have a bad effect on baby’s sleep and motor skills (so only breastfeed where safe and possible).
Published — 20 February 2019 Last updated — 20 March 2019

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