June 22, 2022
Mountaineer News | The Editors
Wellness Wednesday's - Infants
As a new parent or with a new baby, you may be wondering how you can help stimulate your newborn's brain development.
While there are many expensive toys and gadgets on the market that claim to do just that, there are actually a number of simple activities that you can do at home to encourage cognitive development in your baby and help your baby reach developmental milestones.
The Importance of Stimulation for Babies
Newborn stimulation refers to the various activities that you can do with your newborn baby in order to help them develop both physically and mentally. Research has shown that newborn stimulation can have a number of benefits for both babies and their parents, including helping to improve sleep patterns, promoting cognitive development, increasing bonding and providing comfort for your infant. Newborns are also more likely to cry less and be less fussy if they receive regular stimulation.
Stimulation in early infancy helps children to reach their developmental milestones.
Benefits of Stimulation for Infants
When it comes to benefits, there are three main categories: physical, cognitive and emotional.
Physical benefits can include things like improving muscle tone and helping your baby to acquire a sense of balance. Cognitive benefits can include aiding in the development of memory and attention span, as well as promoting problem-solving skills.
Emotional benefits can include helping your child to regulate their emotions and fostering a sense of security and trust.
Your baby's overall health benefits from age appropriate stimulation. Brain development in infants is tied closely to sensory stimulation. So, what are some newborn stimulation activities that you can do with your little one to help little one's development?
Types of Stimulation for Babies
There are a variety of ways to stimulate your newborn. Here are some types of stimulation that can be beneficial:
1. Visual stimulation. Babies love to look at bright colors and patterns. You can hold up pictures or flash cards for your little bean to look at, or hang colorful mobiles above their crib.
2. Auditory stimulation. Babies also love listening to music and sounds. You can sing nursery rhymes or play soft, calming music for your newborn to listen to.
3. Tactile stimulation. Babies enjoy being touched and held. Try massaging your baby with gentle strokes, or cuddling them close.
4. Olfactory stimulation. Babies have a keen sense of smell, and they often respond favorably to certain scents. Try diffusing lavender or chamomile essential oils, or using lotions with soothing scents like vanilla or almond.
Every tiny human is different and will respond differently to different types of stimulation. Experiment and see what works best for your little one!
How to Stimulate Your Child's Development
1. Talk to your baby - even before they're born!
One of the best things you can do for your baby is to talk to them from the very beginning. It's never too early to start! Even before they're born, your voice is a familiar and comforting sound to them. When you speak to your nugget, you're not only helping them to learn about language and communication, but you're also building a bond that will last a lifetime.
There are many ways to talk to your child. You can sing songs, read stories, or just have a conversation. Talking with your baby is a great way to pass the time while you're feeding them, changing their diaper, or getting them ready for bed.
It's also a perfect opportunity to teach them new words and concepts. Every time you talk to your newborn, you're helping your baby's development and overall health.
Newborn babies are unable to see or hear very well. However, they can feel vibrations and respond to touch. Researchers have found that newborn babies who are given a lot of stimulation - through touch, movement and sound - tend to be more alert and responsive.
Furthermore, newborns who are talked to frequently tend to have better language skills later in life. So even though your newborn may not be able to understand you, it is still important to speak to them often. By doing so, you will help them to acquire the skills they need to thrive.
Try to talk to your infant as often as possible. You can speak to them while you're holding them, while you're walking, or even while you're doing the dishes. It's important to use a variety of words and sounds when you're talking to your baby. This will help them to learn and remember new words.
2. Sing and read to your newborn
Singing and reading to your newborn is a great way to stimulate their language development. Research has shown that babies who are read to frequently tend to have larger vocabularies than those who are not. Furthermore, reading to your baby can help them to develop a love of books and learning. It's also a perfect way to spend some quality time together.
Early childhood reading time has tremendous effects on verbal intelligence. Try to read to your child every day, even if it's just for a few minutes. Choose books that are specifically designed for babies and toddlers.
These books often have bright pictures and simple stories. Start by reading the book once all the way through. Then, go back and point out different pictures and talk about what's happening. The spoken words help your baby's brain learn listening skills and remember your voice, and seeing the pictures help their brains to make sight connections.
Try to read to your kiddo every day, even if it's just for a few minutes. You can read them a story or even just look at the pictures together. Their brain will benefit just from hearing your voice. Story time is precious time for kids.
Sing songs while you are feeding them and playing games while making sounds engages your child and will help teach your newborn to respond, use his or her voice, and encourage your child's learning enjoyment.