As babies grow, they gain an awareness of the world around them. This process is also influenced by their fast developing senses. As a parent, you can expose them to different sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and textures and help them experience newer forms of stimulation.
These are some of the ways you can stimulate their senses:
- Sight: Encourage your baby to meet many new people. While out for a walk, point out interesting things for your baby to see. Large, colorful, or moving objects generally intrigue younger children. You may also give your child toys with removable or moving parts.
- Hearing: Your baby will begin to learn to speak by making senseless sounds. Gradually you will find your child start using these sounds to actually form meaningful words. Children’s speech development is influenced by the different sounds that they hear and the meaning they learn to attach to these sounds. Speaking to you child, using different tones to convey your mood, is a good way to encourage your child to listen and imitate.
- Touch: Encourage your baby to hold, feel, grasp, and experience different objects in the hands. Let your baby feel the difference between a wad of cotton, a plastic toy, a piece of paper, or a rubber ball. Gently rub your baby’s fingers against contrasting textures such as a rough block of wood or a cold marble statue. ‘Ask’ your baby what it felt like. Most important, use the power of touch to convey your love to your baby.
- Smell and taste: As babies learn to eat, they start using their sense of smell and taste to distinguish between foods and decide which ones they like or dislike. You can offer different foods to taste, and encourage your baby to smell different objects. Always talk about the foods or objects and the different smells or tastes they have.
While doing these exercises, always observe your baby for any abnormal reactions or responses. Contact your doctor if you feel that your baby is not responding normally to stimulus of any kind.