Congratulations on your newborn! Now that your baby has safely arrived to this world, it is important to look after their wellbeing and cater to their growth accordingly. Thus, it is important to ensure that your baby has proper and complete sensory development. Did you know that your baby senses of hearing and touch have fully developed at birth? Other senses such as sight take a significantly longer time as it needs months to mature fully and aid your baby. With that said, are there any ways to help stimulate your baby’s senses and help them grow better? You might want to read until the end!
Vision is perhaps one of the earliest senses that begin to develop right after your baby is welcomed to the world. Sight was not necessary for them when they used to grow in your womb and food is supplied directly through their umbilical cord. However, this changes as soon as they are birthed. Initially, baby vision is limited to only seeing and recognising objects ranging from 8 to 12 inches away. It is worth keeping in mind that their sight is blurry and unclear at this point.
By the time your baby reaches four months old, they can utilise their little eyeballs to track movement and see farther. At five months old, your little bundle of joy develops a deeper perception of their surroundings and possesses the ability to see in all colours around four to six months old. As your child learns to walk and crawl, they will be able to use their sight to gauge distance and walk safely. This progress happens when your baby is about 8 to 12 months old.
With that said, how would you be able to help your child hone their sight senses? For a start, you can start by giving their bed or room a makeover. Fill your little child’s room with bright and vibrant coloured toys. Start playing games with them, a simple peekaboo would do the trick. This would not only encourage your child’s sight better but also improve their hand-eye coordination as well!
One of the most well-developed baby senses that your baby uses after their birth is the touch. This includes the ability to differentiate between textures, shapes and sizes as well. Your baby will be able to recognise the mother’s skin instantly and feel everything around them in an instant. To establish intimacy and trust with your baby, you are encouraged to swaddle and cuddle your baby more.
These actions would not only improve your baby’s sense of touch but also foster better grasping reflex. You can also try applying skin lotion on your baby and hold them more often. Studies have shown that increased skin-to-skin contact helps in stimulating the baby’s sense of touch. This will help their body have a better understanding of her surroundings. Applying lotion is also therapeutic for your baby and helps keep them calm. Once your baby reaches three or four months old, you might want to get them rattle toys to help improve their hand-eye coordination and dexterity. For more baby toys or baby-related products, you might want to give MumChecked a visit! They have plenty of rattle toys options for your convenience. Have fun browsing!
Through Audio Stimulation
Similar to touch, your baby’s audio sense or sense of hearing have undergone a near-perfect development. This is probably due to the constant stimulation your baby received while they are still in your womb. For pregnant mommy, you will be able to promote better hearing for your baby by communicating with your tummy on a daily basis. The same can be said about bedtime activities such as reading bedtime stories or singing them lullabies.
Once your little bundle of joy has arrived into the new world, certain sounds or changes in their surroundings might be intimidating to them. Loud sounds such as fireworks or the door slamming could unsettle them. Do not be discouraged if they are feeling upset or scared. That means their hearing sense is working well!
While your little darling’s hearing sense works perfectly, it is a good idea to improve and hone their hearing skills as well. Similar to your prenatal routines, you can opt to sing your baby a lullaby, read them some stories or simply talk to them. These steps are great because it does not only improve their hearing sense but also helps them develop their language proficiency too!
Besides having good hearing and a solid sense of touch, your baby is also blessed with well-functioning smell (olfactory) sense. This is proven by your child’s ability to distinguish between the scent of your breast-milk and formula milk. Plus, it was their smell sense that helps your baby decide if they wanted to breastfeed from you or refuse your milk.
Now that we have mentioned how your baby’s sense of smell works, let’s delve into how you can improve or stimulate this sense better. For instance, consuming lactogenic ingredients such as garlic helps in improving the odour and taste of your breast milk and this will encourage your baby to latch longer! Furthermore, if your baby is excited to breastfeed or feel calm with your presence, you are encouraged to consume the same ingredients consistently.
Babies value familiarity and will feel more comfortable if they are used to your presence. You would not only be able to help stimulate this sense but also establishes intimacy and trust with your little darling!
Your baby’s taste buds are one of the most sensitive and developed parts of their body. They are able to taste the foods you consumed through your breast milk and develop preferences for certain types of foods that excite them. For example, sweets, avocados and sweet potatoes.
Speaking of foods you should feed your baby, what are the foods your baby should avoid? For starters, honey is not a food that you should let your baby consume. It might cause lethargy, weakened suckling, poor appetite and constipation in your baby. Plus, you might want to keep cow’s milk or dairy products away from your child as the nutrients contained inside it can be difficult for your child to digest.
So how do you stimulate your baby’s sense of taste then? You can opt for a well-balanced diet from a variety of foods for your breastfeeding purpose. Try to introduce your baby to different types of foods once your baby reaches six months old. This will help your baby familiarise themselves with various types of foods at a faster rate.
In conclusion, stimulating your baby’s senses is important in ensuring healthy growth for them. Do not be discouraged if your baby is progressing at a slower rate, with your care and love, your baby will be able to grow strong and healthy.