Babies and five senses
Have you ever thought what life would be if we missed one of the Five senses that we have? Well, I have often wondered and shuddered with the fear of missing on to so much beauty that the world brings along.
This post brings into light how little babies and toddlers perceive things through the 5 senses. I had written on 5 senses last year for a photo challenge and it has been long that I wanted to share it here on the blog.
The first thing that occurred to me when I thought of smell was the connection between mom and the new-born and the breast crawl that reaffirms the fact that babies’ can identify the odour of nipples.
Our Olfactory glands get activated soon after the birth and breast-crawl is a proof to it.
I have always wondered how, even when in deep sleep, Little A always managed to turn the right way to find the boob.
It was a miraculous sight, when A was put on my chest some less than half an hour after being born and in no time he was doing what he had to, suckle like a pro with just 9 months of existence in the womb and few minutes outside. I was all tears, looking at him and that feeling is inexplicable!
Olfactory response is the most researched input for the Breast Crawl and is believed to be the most important one too.
The smell or olfactory stimulus also keeps mother and baby calm not only right after birth but for a much longer time, I am sure most of us mommies would agree to it. Nothing gives me much happiness and comfort than holding my baby close. I haven’t yet attempted any formal activity relating to smell, but when in kitchen I often make him touch and sniff on to different spices like Turmeric, Cumin, Ajwain, Cinamon, Garlic, Onion, Coffee etc.
Another thing I do to make him aware of different fragrances is to talk about them, like for lemon grass in a diffuser, burning incense sticks or a perfume.
Second Sense that I am going to share about is “Touch”
If it hasn’t been in the hand and body, it can’t get to the brain.
– Bev Bos
Babies start learning much before we can even fathom, introducing them to touch and feel books while giving tummy time can help stimulate their senses.
The playmats, touch and feel books, touch and feel boards and varied textures can be introduced as early as 2-3 months.
In my opinion the best teacher of textures is FOOD. Just when your baby starts on her solids, it is suggested that you introduce various textured foods, let the baby play with the food. Not only will she become a good eater, she will also be a happy eater while helping herself enhance her #touch sense.
Taste buds in babies are developed much before the birth. The amniotic fluid gives them taste of what we eat during pregnancy.
Our milk to gets flavoured by the food that we mothers consume and finally when we introduce food to our babies the real experience begins.
Food opens a whole lot of sensory stimulation, Taste + Smell + Touch+ Sight.
It is important that we as parents provide not only wholesome and nutritional meals, but also should try to tickle their taste buds. It is also suggested that we don’t overfeed our babies/children, we must let them decide the quantity of food they want to eat.
By giving variety in tastes and textures and letting them choose how much to eat will help them establish a lifelong happy relationship with food.
Of all the senses, sight is the most wonderful one, the colours, the shapes and the beauty that the world holds is only complete with the sense of sight.
Unlike other senses, sense of sight takes a while to fully establish. Until 8weeks babies prefer only black/white as their sense of color is still developing. Most babies can’t see as the adults until they are 8 months.
For A I installed a play gym right over the bed for him to look at.
Introduced colourful board-books and touch and feel books at around 10 weeks, also introduced light and sound toys at 10 weeks.
At around 7-8 months he developed this immense delight in looking at himself in the mirror, he could do that for as long as half an hour or even more. Looking at himself and talking (gibberish of course) endlessly. well I casually joked about him being a narcissist like his dad!
The only thing I regret is not taking him out enough to the parks and treating more to his visual sense when he was much younger.
Little babies/ toddlers should be taken out to the greener spaces as often as possible; this helps them get fresh air, get physically active and sleep well later.
Babies respond to sound from the time they are in their mother’s womb.
The noise from outside the womb sounds more like multiple echoes to the baby, however, surprisingly babies can recognize their mother’s voice from others even in the womb.
Based on various researches it is proved that the sense of hearing has critical impact on learning, not only does it affect the speech but also reading and writing abilities and linguistic skills per se. A kept kicking me (while in my tummy) when we were watching Zootopia, I was ready to pop sometime then, it may have been his response to the funny sounds of the animation movie!
All through my pregnancy I listened to various mantras from Garbh-sanskar (a musical CD with prayers and shlokas from Vedas and other Hindu scriptures) to my awe when I play them now A calms down immediately.
We introduced him to Musical Bonding ( Parent-Toddler program at 10 months, and have immensely benefitted from it.
A has been quite cognizant of variety of sounds, dog’s bow bow, birds’ chirp, whistle’s sheee and much more since his early months We enjoy our music thoroughly. A loves dancing, esp on the popular Marathi dance number zing-zing-zingat (even now at almost 30 months)
Sensory stimulation opens a gateway for learning. Let them explore and learn.
You can also checkout my post on Music and Pregnancy.
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