It is in the first year of a baby’s life that it grows and develops the fastest. Stimulation of the baby’s sensory and motor skills can only help enhance their development. By having lots of fun interaction and playtime with your baby is a great way to stimulate their development as their curiosity to learn increases. By keeping them entertained it can also help to improve their concentration and focus on the task at hand which develops their attention span, memory and nervous system to develop. By improving these areas it will also have the impact of improving a baby’s movement and motor skills. Interacting with other children is also so important so that your baby can watch and learn from other children and learn how to socialise.
Below are some suggestions that can help to stimulate babies senses such as smell, hearing and touch.
A Baby Massage has so many benefits including increasing the bond between mother and baby (or father and baby), making your baby more aware of their body and the feeling of touch. Time can be set aside to do a baby massage or just a few mins of baby massage before bed after a bath can be really useful. Attending baby massage classes is another way. More information can be read about baby massage and its benefits here.
Touch Stimulation Ideas
- Playing with water
- Placing some items of different textures into a box such as wool, rough sponges, balls, soft spiky balls, cotton, velvet
- Making them get messy with food, play dough, pasta shapes and other things like foams
- When starting solids give them a piece of food to play with i.e if giving them broccoli puree give them a piece of broccoli to hold and feel
- Standing on different surfaces such as carpet, wood, sand, grass, stone, rugs, mats
Visual and Hearing Stimulation Ideas
- Hang objects which are of bright colours and reflective off the pram, cot, car seat
- Let your child play with a plastic mirror or hold them in front of a mirror – they will quickly learn to recognise themselves
- When feeding your baby look at them
- Peekaboo playing is a fun way of helping with visual stimulation
- Using noisy toys such as rattles and bells or squeaky toys
- Singing songs and nursery rhymes
- Story reading
- Chatting away to your baby – asking them questions – talking about things as you are doing them
- Musical toys
Motor Stimulation Ideas
- Tummy time is the key in the early stages to help babies motor development – helps to build their back, head and neck muscles and eventually crawl – try putting a rolled up towel or small cushion underneath their chest so that their arms are freed up to play
- Place objects around them to try and reach
- Work out with your baby – our physio trainers are able to do workouts for mums and babies – so much fun and stimulate your baby’s development at the same time
- When beginning to sit place them between 2 cushions
- Place babies in different positions when playing on the floor such as side-lying, sitting, tummy time, back, propped up in sitting
- Give babies lots of experience of movement such as singing to them demonstrating with big movements.
If you have any concerns about your child’s development do not hesitate to get in touch. One of our paediatric physios can drop round to see your child at home and do an assessment of their development. If they find any delays they can teach you exercises to carry out with your child to help. Just drop us a whatsapp at +65 8358 2144 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.