Help your baby understand the world faster by stimulating his senses. Find out why stimulation is so important and how to develop your little one’s senses.
Babies develop their senses as early as 9 weeks of pregnancy, and just a few weeks later, the cognitive elements are already developed. Babies in the womb know exactly when mom is sitting, walking or lying down. After coming into the world, the toddler in a way experiences a shock, begins to feel what previously could only know indirectly. So why is it important to stimulate the senses of such a young child? A baby’s brain is programmed to develop on its own. Without any help from anyone, a toddler will experience new stimuli, emotions and develop his senses at his own pace. Fortunately, the brain is also a very “plastic” organ. Its development will depend on the stimulation provided. When stimulation sessions with your child are more frequent and longer, you will certainly notice an improvement in his abilities. He will smile more often, move his arms and legs more nimbly, and listen more carefully when you speak to him. Below we will discuss each sense and examples of how to stimulate it.
This sense develops from about the 6th month of pregnancy. When the baby is born, it is already so well developed that the infant recognizes the mother’s voice, her favorite song or her heartbeat. Silence is unnatural and unpleasant for him. So how can you stimulate the sense of hearing? Introduce your baby to sounds that are strange to him, sometimes familiar, sometimes new. This might be tapping, rustling paper, dripping water or light, soothing music that is familiar to your baby, but not necessarily baby music. For example, if your baby listened to rock music when you were pregnant, play something similar. This is the kind of music your child knows and wants to hear. Additionally, it will be a better stimulus for development than most children’s songs.
Despite appearances, the best solution to stimulate this sense is not a spinning, colorful carousel hanging over your baby’s bed. Babies don’t distinguish colors that well and can’t focus their eyes on things that constantly change position. So show your baby what he knows, and he knows the face of mom, dad and the closest family members. Smile often and let him recognize emotions. You can also use a combination of two colors that the toddler can distinguish, namely white and black. Another suggestion is to show your child signs with red lettering. This is Doman’s method, which helps in maturing the sense of sight.
Motor and intellectual skills are determined by the sense of balance. A child who has been properly stimulated from the very beginning, begins to roll over on its stomach, crawl, crawl, and later walk. Interestingly, stimulation of the sense of balance also influences speech development. What can you do for your baby? Swing, rock, cradle, or gently toss your baby.
This is an extremely important sense for babies. It has been known for years, hence the advice to “kangaroo” the baby, i.e. to carry him in his diaper snuggled up to his mother’s naked body. What else can stimulate the sense of touch? A light massage, for example – you can use a soft-pore massage ball, but the hand of mom or dad will do. Hugging the baby, one of the easiest activities, will also help develop the baby’s sense of touch.
These senses are conditioned by the pregnant woman’s diet. Intense, varied flavors or strong spices are absorbed into the amniotic fluid. The baby has the opportunity to become acquainted with some of these already in the womb. However, if the diet was poor in intense flavors, the baby will have some difficulty distinguishing them. The sense of smell, on the other hand, develops regardless of the diet. It is active from the first moments after birth. It is stimulated mainly by exposure to newer and newer scents.