Using their 5 senses to explore the world around them is a natural way for babies to learn and is crucial to brain development. These senses - touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing - are integral to how we interact with our world but are not fully developed until later in life. It is important to stimulate all of baby's senses from birth.
Kissey faces, stroking their cheek, or stroking from forehead-to nose-to chin, and making noises to get reactions, are all ways that we can stimulate the touch and hearing sensory responses in our newborns.
"For 0-6 months, one of the most valuable forms of sensory stimulation is auditory stimulation. Babies love to hear voices and sounds, especially from their own moms. Infants as young as one month will try to turn their heads towards the sound." - Bumblebee OT
As the weeks go by baby will start to reward you with smiles, coos and then mirroring your actions (stimulating the visual sense).
From Good Start Early Learning: Other reasons sensory play is beneficial for children include:
- It helps to build nerve connections in the brain
- It encourages the development of motor skills
- It supports language development
As baby begins to interact more with the world around him, introduce age appropriate toys. Place objects so that baby can reach for them, and be successful. Provide them with toys that have different textures and make different sounds. Our teething and sensory toys and pillows, are designed just for this!
If you have questions or concers about your baby's development reach out to an Occupational Therapist, they are an amazing resource!
Contributor: Bumblebee OT - Toronto & GTA