Sensory stimulation: ally in the development of your child

Moms and dads, I can tell you that there are countless benefits that sensory stimulation has on children. In fact, over the years, different medical studies have highlighted the importance of sensory stimulation for the development of children; even since they are in the belly.

Sensory stimulation is a set of activities, techniques and exercises that will help your child in her physical and mental growth.

Stimulation during pregnancy creates a relevant bond not only for the development of the baby but also for the parents, because it creates in them the habit of positively encouraging their child, making the bond that connects them even stronger.

In fact, it is natural to watch mom and dad practice prenatal stimulation even without being aware of it: they caress the womb, talk to their child, sing to her and there are even those who read stories to them. There are moms who play music, dance, or exercise during pregnancy.

An advantage of stimulating your baby during her first months of life is that it will allow you to discover early if there are developmental disorders or learning problems and prevent cognitive, motor, psychological and social disorders.

Prenatal stimulation

Your baby is able to perceive, from your belly, some external stimuli; Here are some ideas for you to work based on your senses:

Touch: From the sixth or seventh week your baby will react to the different degrees of pressure on your belly, such as caresses and massages. Responding to its movements by pressing on the area where you have felt it is a way of interacting with it.

Hearing: Talk to your baby, put music on him, use an instrument or share the sounds of nature with him; Keep in mind that his hearing will be more sensitive from week 14 of gestation.

Sight: The child’s vision is complete from the fourth month; Play light games with a flashlight on your belly (turn it off, turn it on, move it from side to side) to attract their attention and provoke a response. From time to time put yourself in the sun for a while so that the warmth also reaches it.

The firsts years

Children have a natural disposition to learn from birth and it is during the first three years of life that the longest lasting neural connections are established. Sensory stimulation plays a determining role in this stage because it is when essential capacities develop and mature in different areas:

Language area: Children learn to speak by imitating sounds but also by mouth movements, so it is important to emphasize vocalization, pronouncing each word well and even exaggeratedly. Make movements with your mouth, eyes, eyebrows … in this way you will recognize the different expressions on your face.

Cognitive area: Reading a story giving different tones of voice to the characters, identifying the elements of the illustrations or imitating the sounds of animals will help your child to acquire knowledge about the world around him.

Music also stimulates brain activity, as has been shown in various experiments. A rattle, a tambourine, a little piano will help you coordinate movement and sound.

Sensorimotor area: It is about enhancing their physical and motor capacity through exercises and games that help them develop fine motor skills (manual skills) and gross (motor skills); baby gyms and toys are your best allies.

Massages are also very effective, since the contact of your hands with his skin reinforces the connection between the two while helping him in his muscular development. Start with a massage and then do exercises with your legs and arms.

Affective and emotional area: Physical contact between the child and his parents is essential: they must hug him, caress him, touch him with affection and also smile at him, look him in the eyes and call him by name from a very young age to establish a strong affective bond between them. In the future this will help you to relate in a positive way with other people.

In premature babies, early stimulation is very important for their good physical, cognitive and emotional development.

Prepare the ground

To achieve full attention of the child during stimulation exercises, it is important to take some precautions before starting:

• Establish an organized routine so that your mind and body are on the lookout and attentive to stimulation.

• Make sure your baby is in good condition before you start: that he has had enough sleep, feed him, change his diaper and put him on comfortable clothes with which he can move freely.

• Eliminate any element that could distract you: turn off the TV and mute the mobile phone; remove any objects that are not part of the activity.

• Be affectionate during the exercises and celebrate each of her little accomplishments. A child who receives care and love will be a more emotionally secure adult and will function better socially.

Sensory stimulation will strengthen fine motor skills, which is what allows coordinating small movements, such as those of the fingers and wrists; as well as gross motor skills that have to do with activities that require more effort from the muscles, such as walking, running or jumping.

Knowing your son

There are hypersensitive children who are disturbed by sounds, are resistant to changes, and show angry behaviors when they occur; hence the importance of maintaining certain patterns and schedules for stimulation, rest, and meals.

The game routines that are used with them must adapt to their way of being, avoiding sudden changes that could alter them and always using anticipation to anticipate any situation that may bother them.

At the other extreme are hyposensitive children, who need a great deal of energy and constant movement to feel stimulated.

This behavior tells us to include activities that encourage them and keep them alert and expectant, so that they feel motivated to participate and recharge their energy.

In the end, knowing your child will make that unbreakable connection even more solid and consistent, it will also teach you the conducive way to work with him and will lead you to consolidate a relationship based on self-perception, respect and love.

If you want ideas of sensory activities for your children, I recommend my EBook 20 sensory activities available in my online store.

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