Stimulating your baby's senses in the womb
The sense of touch is the very first to develop: first around the mouth during the 7th week of pregnancy, then in the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet and around the whole face towards the end of the 3rd month… and then the whole body in the 20th week. Towards the 14th week, the baby's hands are also able to clutch things – albeit very clumsily. Your baby starts experimenting with his new perceptions by brushing his face and his body, playing with his umbilical chord, sucking his thumb or through the gentle palpitations of the uterine wall.
4 months into your pregnancy, your baby will also feel it when you stroke the skin of your tummy: rub your hand against your stomach, gently push and stroke it… and soon your baby will start responding with little kicks, or by curling up into your palm!
Consider haptonomy as a means of stimulating your baby's senses and creating a close bond with him. This "emotion science" is usually carried out with both dad and a healthcare professional (a specialist midwife, physical therapist, gynaecologist or paediatrician); it is a means of helping you establish actual communication with your baby while still in the womb, and involves placing your hands on your tummy using special methods.