The importance of sensory stimulation for babies

baby playing with colourful wooden xylophone

As we know, all babies develop and grow at their own pace, however it’s important that along the way for our new little humans, we assist them to explore their curiosity to nurture their development from an early age.

Through play, your baby’s brain develops in response to new forms of stimuli at an extremely rapid pace. Your baby is learning and connecting to the world around them through so many different forms of sensory engagement. For babies, simple sensory play such as touching a variety of objects and surfaces along with hearing how various materials create different sounds, all assists with their sensory stimulation.

Each new sensory experience your baby has helps to build their nerve connections assisting to grow the most important element of all, the brain.

Babies and their senses

Vision: When babies are born, they can only focus on items roughly 8-10 inches away. When your baby first opens their eyes, they see only in black and white, and gradually begin to see colours. This is why you will often see black and white cards being used in learning materials for young babies. As babies grow their visual stimulus increases, with objects becoming clearer and the distance that they can see improving.

Hearing: Your newborn’s hearing is normally fully developed at birth, however they’re quite sensitive to sounds even before they are born, in particular the voice of their mother.

Babies explore through their senses

Touch: You baby’s skin is sensitive to touch and is therefore a powerful learning tool to enhance their emotional learning. This is where those little smiles start to appear and where the earliest responses to touch are reflexive. For example, if you stroke your newborn’s foot, both their toes will flex. Babies under one year commonly respond to touch with an “all or nothing” response.

Taste/Smell/Texture: Babies have several hundred more sweet taste buds in their mouths than adults. This is why they may make upset faces when tasting bitter or sour foods for the very first time.

11 Simple sensory learning experiences for your baby

We understand that as new parents, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the things needed to assist your baby’s growth and development, but you are not alone!

We’ve put together a simple list below of things you can do with your baby in the comfort of your home to engage their senses and beyond.

  1. Playing music and saying nursery rhymes
  2. Sucking on teething toys
  3. Introducing a variety of textured objects
  4. Using black and white learning shape cards
  5. Playing in water (at appropriate temperature)
  6. Spending time outside in nature, listening to different noises like birds
  7. Watching moving objects such as leaves and branches
  8. Rolling or bouncing balls where your baby can watch them moving across the floor
  9. Using rattles
  10. Playing with colourful toys that move
  11. Smelling new foods and flowers

For a little more information or help with your baby’s sensory learning and development, we’d love you to reach out to us here at Adelaide Paediatrics.

We’re based across 9 locations throughout South Australia:

  • Mile End: 08 7123 6147
  • Kensington Park: 08 7123 6176
  • Wayville: 08 7123 6177
  • Mount Barker: 08 7123 6175
  • Ashford: 08 7123 6171
  • North Adelaide: 08 7123 6173
  • Bedford Park: 08 7123 6149
  • Elizabeth Vale: 08 7123 6148
  • Morphett Vale: 08 7123 6163

Adelaide Paediatrics – Helping Children and Families Thrive

Adelaide Paediatrics’ doctors, allied health professionals and staff care about your family and what you are going through. We take the time to listen and understand so that you feel supported and empowered as we work together to care for your child. We know that sometimes medical issues in children cannot wait, so if an appointment is required urgently, we will accommodate as best we can and can usually offer an urgent appointment with a paediatrician within 7 days.

Tags: ,

Paediatrics

Paediatrics

Allergy / Immunology

Allergy / Immunology

Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology

Dietetics

Dietetics

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy

Podiatry

Podiatry

Psychology

Psychology

Speech Pathology

Speech Pathology