By Megan Faure, founder of Baby Sense and author of The Babysense Secret
- Stimulate your baby’s senses – The first three years of your baby’s life is vital time for making connections between brain cells. Research has shown that a baby has every brain cell he needs for the rest of his life on the day he is born. But it is sensory and emotional experiences that determine the connections between these cells. Stimulate his sense of touch, movement, smell sight and hearing as this will result in optimizing his development.
- Emotional experiences carry more weight than any other stimulation. Your baby will learn more about his world in a positive emotional context than when emotional energy does not accompany the experience. TV is an example of an emotionally barren learning experience. For example, your baby will learn about farm animals much quicker when you take him to a farmyard than when he sees a farm on television or on the Internet. Your baby’s development is best enhanced when he is having fun and spending time with you.
- Stimulate your baby when he is in the calm alert state, not when he is tired, hungry or crying. In this way he is able to make sense of the experience and benefit maximally from the stimulation.
- Do not over stimulate and over schedule your baby. In this day and age, it is easy to become focused on using every opportunity to stimulate, stimulate, stimulate. But babies (and adults alike) need down time – simply staring at the leaves blowing in the wind or doing what appears to be nothing. Likewise, sleep is just as important for brain development as stimulation so a good nap can be as good as a baby stimulation class.
- Time is better spent than money. Don’t worry about buying the newest fancy toys and gadgets. Rather spend time with your little one – talking, reading and simply playing with everyday household goods – these experiences often carry more weight than plastic toys with flashing lights.
About the Author
Megan Faure, BSc, OT, OTR is the author of the new book from DK publishing, The BabySense Secret. She is an occupational therapist who has worked for more than a decade in the pediatrics field in several countries including the USA and South Africa. In addition to her best-selling parenting book Baby Sense, Faure has developed a collection of innovative Baby Sense products based on her Sensible Sensory Parenting principles outlined in her books.
In addition to the Baby Sense book series, Faure has authored several magazine articles in the field of child psychology, parenting and child development. She is also the founder and chairperson of the Infant Sensory Integration Training group which provides courses for therapists to equip them to treat, assess, and understand infant behavior. Faure regularly lectures to both professionals and parents on various baby and childcare issues. For more information on Baby Sense visit www.babysense.com. To purchase Baby Sense products in the U.S. visit www.kastelinternational.com.