The baby will begin to know the world around him through his senses. Ear, sight, taste, smell and touch allow you to know and learn. Early stimulation not only helps activate the senses, but also enhances their development in multiple aspects.
Parents can activate their baby’s senses with very simple exercises. Many of the daily practices for baby care offer multi-stimulation to activate the senses. That is, one sense is not stimulated but two, three or all at the same time.
Why do we have to activate the baby’s senses?
The stimulation of the baby can be started before birth. The stimulation techniques can help you to connect with your baby, until the moment of his birth arrives.
Once out of the uterus, during the first three months of the baby’s life, 85% of the neurons of his immature brain develop. A baby’s brain can create up to 1.8 million new synaptic connections per second.
This extraordinary speed in the production of these synapses is greatly stimulated by the environment in which the baby grows. From the experiences he experiences to what he perceives through his senses, everything contributes to that accelerated growth of new connections, ramifications and prolongation of neurons.
Sensory stimulation helps awaken the baby’s cognitive, perceptual and motor abilities, which are the basis for consolidating future learning and preventing possible difficulties.
How to activate the baby’s senses?
The most developed sense of newborn babies is touch. The co-sleeping and carrying allows the baby to be in skin-to-skin contact, to feel its smell and its warmth, at the same time as they hear the heart and voice of its mother.
Breastfeeding is a multi sensory experience. It is inevitable that the mother tells her baby how beautiful she is, how much she loves him or that they look directly into her eyes, while gently caressing her cheeks. The baby feels the taste of the milk and smells the skin of his mother.
Before or after the bath, massages are ideal. With creams or oils for babies, you can massage your back very gently, surrounding the spine. It stimulates the baby’s touch and smell, as well as the nerves found in the spine.
At bath time, the baby feels the temperature of the water, the hands of his mother while soaping and the smell of hygiene products. That is another great moment to also talk or sing to your little one.
What benefits does sensory stimulation provide?
The skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby is a source of multiple benefits from the moment of birth. Being skin-to-skin with the mother helps the newborn to regulate the respiratory rate, heart rate and temperature; It relieves stress and anxiety that causes childbirth and promotes the initiation of breastfeeding.
Then the baby continues to benefit from physical contact and improves their cognitive and motor skills. As it grows, new fields of exploration open. The baby has a hard time sitting still and wants to touch everything.
First, he holds in his hands the objects that surround him to know them and then he takes it to his mouth. An exploratory behavior that will later result in the development of language skills.
The benefits of skin-to-skin contact are not unique to babies. Children are also comforted by physical contact with the mother. They like to be embraced. And, if they get sick, you will see them resorting decidedly to the protection of your arms.
And the other senses?
By recognizing the parents’ voices, there is an increase in brain activity in the left posterior temporal region of the brain. In other words, they create memories in the language area of the cerebral cortex. These memories are very useful for when the baby begins to develop speech.
The newborn’s view is in development. However, it highlights the visual contact that the baby makes when he is breastfed or ported. It is his communication formula, which strengthens links with his parents and facilitates the subsequent development of social skills.
Through the stimulation of smell, the baby learns to identify people more quickly. He recognizes the smell of his mother and the family members who care for him (dad or grandparents), which makes him feel comfortable in his arms.
Sensory stimulation is a wonderful way to share and communicate with your baby. It will give you unforgettable moments of overflowing of laughter, kisses and hugs. In addition to the exercises you can do your baby, enjoy daily care.
Everything you can do to activate the baby’s senses will contribute to your physical and emotional development. And, as the brain develops, with its abilities and skills, close ties of love and attachment.