We guarantee that you will get as much out of these unique times spent together as your baby does.
Sensory development begins the moment your baby is born and begins experiencing a whole new world outside of the womb. As they learn about the world around them, it helps them learn to navigate it even at the earliest of ages for later in life.
Helping your baby gain sensory knowledge can be a fun way to spend time together. You never know, taking this time to focus on your baby’s experiences may remind you of the little things you love as well.
The senses include – sight, taste, touch, smell and sound – and there’s another we like to consider - “feeling”, which can be something different than simply touching an object.
Here are 8 ways to enjoy time with your baby while helping to encourage their sensory development.
1. Take a walk (Sight, Sound, Feeling, Smell). Taking a walk is a great way to introduce your baby to new sounds – of birds, cars, kids laughing, dogs barking – while getting out of the house for some exercise and while you both get some fresh air. The benefits are many.
2. Do some bird watching (Sight, Sound, Feeling, Smell) or cloud watching. Sit under a tree and let the songs of birds fill the air around you. The gentle melodies and breeze in the trees might just put you both to sleep, so take a blanket, and may you will rediscover the joy and imagination that comes with watching the clouds pass by.
3. Explore different fabrics (Touch, Sight). Babies love to touch and grab things. Select several different textures of fabrics or surfaces from around the house and lay them out on the couch or take your baby on a tour of the house and watch how she reacts. Indoors is not the only place to experience different textures. There are a variety of experiences you can introduce your baby’s sense of touch to outdoors.
4. Play with a pet (Touch, Sight, Feeling). Animals are great for children who do not have known allergies. While it’s important to take this under consideration, the engagement with a pet even as a baby can be impactful. Licks and purrs may just lead to smiles.
5. Listen to music (Sound). A great way to bond with your baby while also promoting hearing different sounds is to play your favorite and sing to him. Dancing can introduce new feelings of movement and encourage laughter. Be sure to introduce others musical genres but be aware of the volume. Babies’ ears are quite sensitive. Our recommendation: The hits of the ‘50s is always a fun playlist.
6. Tummy Time (Sight, Sound, Touch). Tummy Time is a great way to connect with your baby, learn about what they’re attracted to – lights, sounds or music, toys – that might motivate them to continue working to build the physical strength they need to crawl. Toys like the Crawligator help them not only build the strength needed, but also encourages natural crawling movement and allows them to explore the world around them.
7. Splash in the water (Touch, Feeling, Smell). Baths are a relaxing time for a baby and can be a special time for parents. We often forget about the sensory knowledge that can be picked up during bath time – the simple feeling of splashing water and the smell of a drop of lavender oil in the water. This event can give your baby a lot of information.
8. Take time to smell the roses (Touch, Smell). We’ve all heard the phrase “Stop and smell the roses” meaning to slow down and don’t miss the world around you. Checking out flowers with your baby will ensure that you’re not missing out on the beauty of the world. While it’s relaxing for you, your child is getting the opportunity to experience scents not typically or naturally available in the home.
Embrace all of the time you get to spend with your baby. They grow quickly and you’ll always remember this time together.