Stimulate your baby’s senses

Offering sensory activities to your baby will provide a way for you to ensure proper sensory stimulation and development. These activities are simple and practical.

The sense of touch

Hold young babies. Even when babies are able to hold their own bottle, they should be held. Being cuddled frequently assists to build the child’s self worth, security, and tactile system.

Rock and sway your baby gently to help them develop a sense of movement and balance.

Give them soft toys (a stuffed animal or soft rattle) to hold, grasp, and feel.

The sense of smell

Provide children with the opportunity to experience various smells. This may include lemon, vanilla, apple juice, or natural smells such as grass or flowers.

The sense of taste

When introducing solid foods to your baby, (usually between 4-6 months, but definitely consult your pediatrician first) start with single-ingredient foods. Most parents start with rice cereal. Once they have mastered cereal, introduce other single ingredient foods such as pureed meat, vegetables or fruit. It is recommended that when introducing a new food you only introduce one new food at a time and wait 3 to 5 days between each new food.

The sense of hearing

Talk to your infant and echo their babble.

Play different kinds of music such as classical and soft rock, and also music from different cultures.

Read to your baby daily.

The sense of sight

For newborns, use contrasting toys, such as black, white, and red, as these are easier for them to see. As the child gets older, place bright toys near them.

Hang up pictures of familiar people, animals and objects on the wall at the child’s eye level.

Safety

Remember that infants put everything in their mouths, so wash toys frequently and be sure a toy is large enough that the child is not able to swallow it.

Adapted from: www.sensory-processing-disorder.com