Babies start to discover the world from the day they are born, as they develop their senses. It is fundamental to know why they are important, how they can be improved, and the different stages of their development.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Association of Early Childhood Educators (WAECE), stimulating all the child’s senses during the first year of their life is essential to achieve an ideal development.
Babies already recognize voices inside their mother’s womb and, once they are born, hearing allows them to recognize everything that surround them and is familiar to them, including their mother’s voice. Talk and sing to your baby, use rattles and toys that make noises to stimulate the child’s hearing. This will also help the baby to start talking.
Through physical contact, babies can perceive new sensations, such as temperature and the texture of things. It also helps them to develop emotional ties with their parents, depending on the way in which babies perceive the contact with their skin. So, hold and caress your baby, give him massages, and provide him with various objects he can touch.
Until the first month of their life, babies have a blurry vision. They start to perceive some colors after they are 4 and 6 months old. You can stimulate their sight, moving toys of bright and contrasting colors closer and farther from them. Have fun with your child, while your baby sees his own reflection in a mirror or gesticulate while you talk to him.
More than any other sense, the sense of smell is already woken in babies since the day they are born. That is how they can recognize their mothers. Help your baby to keep developing this sense, offering him a wide variety of smells, such as creams, gels, fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, or spices.
As you already know, it is very common for babies to take everything into their mouths. You should be alert and you should try to be the one that offers the child different flavors to taste: salty, sour, sweet, and also different textures that the baby can start to distinguish. If you do this, in the future, your child will be able to eat anything.
The Center on the Developing Child of Harvard University points out that educational toys are very useful for the development of these skills, as well as for building a healthy brain architecture in children.
However, living experiences are the more important influence on the brain architecture and on the early development of the brain; they stimulate education from early childhood, as well as develop abilities that help the children understand their environment.
SOURCES: Center on the Developing Child – Harvard University; World Association of Early Childhood Educators; and American Academy of Pediatrics.