Home. It’s where we relax, celebrate, and live life with the people dearest to us. Chances are, you have worked hard to make your home a safe haven and your own private sanctuary from the worries of the world. Now, with the arrival of your newest addition, you want to make sure that your home is perfect for your little one. With some thought and careful planning, you can transform your home into a stimulating and encouraging environment for baby, without greatly disrupting your sense of style and comfort.
What is Infant Stimulation?
Infant stimulation involves all five senses. As a parent, it is our job to help our children interact with their world, starting from birth. The more a baby is able to see, taste, hear, touch, and smell the world around them, the better they adapt and adjust to their environment. This type of interaction is important because it helps infants improve their muscle tone and coordination and helps them reach developmental milestones faster. Proper stimulation will also boost a baby’s memory, pique their curiosity, and improve their attention span.
Bright colors are perfect for getting a baby’s attention. Especially in the early months, contrasting colors will appear very interesting to their developing brains. You can accomplish this by painting an accent wall, or simply using some colorful accents in baby’s nursery. A black and white patterned pillow case can do wonders for baby’s entertainment.
Exploring textures together with your little one can be so much fun! Take your baby through your closet. Let him feel the beads on your cardigan, or compare the different buttons on your blouses. Let him feel the difference between cotton, silk, polyester, and spandex. Don’t stop at your closet! There are dozens of textures around your home waiting for your baby to feel and explore. Do you have some velcro? What about your kitchen table? How will your baby respond to a feather? If you don’t mind a few smudges, let him feel the smooth glass of the bathroom mirror. Take him outside to feel the grass. By looking for opportunities to engage your baby with their surroundings, your baby will constantly be learning about the world around him.
Sound is another great way to engage your baby. Start with your voice. Show her all of the neat things your voice can do- laugh, giggle, talk, coo, whisper. Let her hear other people’s voices, whether from family or tv characters. Sit outside with your baby and listen to the sounds around you. Point out the birds chirping, cars passing, and other sounds you might hear. Music is another favorite. You can play everything from soft, soothing, instrumentals, to fast paced and upbeat favorites. You never know what your baby will like! Sing along during a dance party to create extra fun with your little one.
Activating your baby’s sense of smell can be a lot of fun! Bake cookies, and let the scent fill your home. Cook a fragrant dinner, and let your little one smell it. Find some flowers for him to smell. Burn your favorite candle while he eats. The sense of smell is a fun one to partner with the other senses too. Don’t just let your baby smell fresh flowers; let him hold one and experience the feeling of soft petals.
The last of the five sense, taste is a fun one to experiment with as your baby grows older. During the teething stage, more and more items will find their way into your baby’s mouth. This can be a good time to play with textures again. How does your baby like the smooth teether compared to the bumpy one? Eventually, it will be time to offer your baby food. Have fun during this stage! Try foods individually, then blended to create a whole new flavor.
Infant stimulation is crucial for proper growth and development, but it can also be a lot of fun. With a few strategic items, lots of creativity, and you as the guide, your home can become a center of stimulation for your little one. A home rich in environmental stimulation will help to foster trust and growth for your child.