Baby Sensory Development
(21 Jun 2018)

Baby Talk Expresso

Baby Sensory Development

Today we discussed children’s sensory development with Lourdes from JumpLeapFly! She provided us with some really interesting information about how best to assist your child in some of its most important years of life.
When is it the right time to start introducing toys?
Be careful of over stimulating newborns – they are brand new to the world and it might be overwhelming to them. GAP Baby Stimulation groups with JumpLeapFly only start at a later stage when babies are more ready on a sensory level to be stimulated and engage in the group situation. Lourdes believes that the only a toy a baby needs for their first 3 months is their parents’ faces!
How do babies’ eyes develop in the first year?
Babies love bold and contrasting colours. Primary colours such as black, red and white are some of the most effective in the beginning. Babies have very blurry vision at first but they still love faces! Parents can sit in front of a plain background and contrast it with what they wear to help small babies focus on them during calm-alert stages.

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What role does music play in early development?
Music can either be alerting to soothing. Slow, rhythmical and natural sounds help to create calmness, and high pitched/stop-start sounds are better for alerting. Music can assist with a fussy baby or even help a baby link sleep cycles by blocking out altering stop-start sounds in the background.
How do you gradually expose the baby to sights and sounds of the outside world?
Lourdes feels that in the first few weeks and months, the parents should respond to babies rather than stimulate them. The concept of responding to versus stimulating a new born is something that they could in their Groovy Adventurer book. This book helps to teach parents to watch their baby’s cues instead of only responding when they are already sensory overloaded which makes it more difficult to calm them. There is something magical that happens when a baby and a parent lock in on each other’s gaze – it is called mirror neurons and forms the basis of a baby’s attachment to their parent and also is a foundation for skills development.

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How do taste buds develop?
Taste actually already starts to develop in the womb! When a baby is born, their taste sense and touch sense are the most mature. Their taste buds are very sensitive and tend to prefer sweet tastes – this is why breast milk is sweet! Babies use this sensory sensitivity to recognize their parents or to discover the spatial and temporal properties of objects.

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Is it important for babies to explore different textures with touching and feeling?
It is so important for a baby to explore different textures because this sensory feedback builds into their body scheme or internal map of what their body looks and feels like. It also forms the basis of developing gross motor skills as well as fine motor skills. It also has an impact on the development of spatial and depth perception which can impact letter formations, writing, balance and co-ordination.
Lourdes encourages parents to respond rather than stimulate their baby. If you want to find out more about this discussion, you can find JumpLeapFly on Facebook, Twitter and their website.

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