Stimulating Your Baby's Senses

Stimulating Your Baby’s Senses

Posted on 27. Apr, 2012 by in Birth, Family, newborn

It’s an exciting time when you have a baby. And your instincts want to constantly engage your child with their outside world, but how knowledgeable are you when it comes to your little one’s senses?

Not all of your child’s senses mature at the same time, some, like sight, take longer than smell to develop fully.

Here are five ways in which you can help your baby to understand what they’re working with.


Vision

When your newborn enters the world, they see best when things are in contrast – think black and white.

Their vision reach is only about 8 – 12 inches, about the distance your face would be if you were breastfeeding them.

It’s not until about four weeks of age that your baby will be able to spot you from up to 20 inches away.

In the meantime, keep both black and white toys around as well as brightly colored ones and let your child tell you which they prefer.

One thing that your baby will always want in their vision is you, so keep them close to mommy for reassurance.


Hearing

Your baby’s hearing has been honing its skills from inside the womb – that’s why your child recognizes your voice immediately upon their arrival into the world.

However, newborns are sensitive to extreme changes in sound – think slamming doors or loud TV’s.

Talk to your newborn in soft tones rather than loud, demanding undertones. Feel free to also sing all the songs you want to your baby, they love the harmonious melodies while nestled in your arms.


Touch

Your baby’s sense of touch is so firmly integrated into their psyche from birth that they lovingly crave it.

Stimulating your infant’s sense of touch is super easy, all you have to do is touch them admiringly.

Cuddle your baby, gently touch their face, marvel at their little fingers and feet, even give them a relaxing infant massage after bath time.

Babies also enjoy skin-to-skin contact — think breastfeeding, babywearing, and cradling.


Smell

The nose knows, and your little one’s is no different.

Infants are born with their mothers’ smell ingrained within them. As soon as your child is with you after their birth, your smell and voice are the two senses that let your baby know that their mommy is close.

So what better way to allow your baby to inhale you then to keep them close to you – think babywearing and skin-to-skin contact.

No need to wear perfumes or lotions, your normal everyday smell is what your baby appreciates most.


Taste

While taste buds tends to develop as your baby gets older, newborn do tend to favor sweet things over sour ones.

That’s why infant formula and cereals tends to smell and taste sweet and your breastmilk can indeed take on hints of whatever you’ve been consuming.

Let your child tell you what they prefer once you start to introduce solids. Some babies will love green beans while others won’t even look at them. This vastness to flavors is normal, you don’t like everything you’ve tasted, right?

With taste, it’s a give and take. And with babies, it’s never a good idea to force feed them anything – let them set the pace for trying new flavors. Their palate will grow as they do.

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About the author: Danielle is a freelance blogger and website content manager specializing in parenting, family, pregnancy, social media, and entrepreneurial topics. To learn more about Danielle, please visit her website at www.PenPointEditorial.com.

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