Sensory perception is the ability to accurately register and interpret information we get from our senses.
Sensory information forms the basis of all general learning. Touch perception is vital for fine motor skills later on, accurate perception of what we see and hear allows children later on to listen to instructions, speak clearly and interpret what they see. Being able to accurately feel where our body is in space, and how it is moving through space, define our balance and postural core strength and endurance. All our senses work together to form the basis of academic learning.
Carly Tzanos and Lourdes Bruwer, occupational therapist and sensory integration specialists for Nubabi share some important milestones you should notice in your little one in the first three years starting from birth:
It’s important to note that babies do not always have the same developmental challenges in their spotlights at the same time. The real measure of your child’s development is how they’re progressing compared to themselves - not anyone else. Remember, your baby is unique and will develop at his own unique pace. A solitary delay or lag is usually nothing to worry about and does not indicate any long-term issues. Watch out for a cluster of issues, especially if the delays are in more than just one area of development as this may need to be investigated.
Spend time with your child and trust your intuition as they develop, taking a keen interest in what they are doing and how they are doing it. If you are concerned about any aspect of your child’s development you can find support from various professionals (paediatricians, therapists and teachers) and be proactive in providing opportunities to help them reach their true potential.
Note: The activities below are examples and may not be suited to your child right now. To find activities that are just right for your child’s developmental stage, try Nubabi’s Weekly Stimulation Guide. You can sign up for a 2 week Free Trial here.
Just as they need to eat and sleep, babies need to be held. Whether you use a sling, a wrap or a structured carrier, ‘Close for comfort’ is a wonderful way of ‘holding’ your baby. It allows you to feel intimacy and love while you go about your everyday tasks. You will also be able to pick up on your newborn’s cues much quicker and therefore respond earlier, before he gets to the point of being completely overwhelmed. This helps him feel secure and strengthens the trust in your relationship. Carly Tzanos, occupational therapist for Nubabi
What to do:
At around 6 months, it’s important to give your clever baby a chance to respond when you talk, coo or gurgle with him. Remember to wait patiently, as it will take him a while to respond. By being patient and allowing time for him to respond, you are teaching him to listen too - yet another important skill. Lourdes Bruwer, occupational therapist for Nubabi
What to do:
Movement input feeds into your baby’s vestibular or sense of movement which builds postural core strength and endurance. When your little one is around 12 months, you can get whizzing around with your little one to build those core muscles! Lourdes Bruwer, occupational therapist for Nubabi
What to do:
Using a sturdy blanket, allow your little one to lie down on it, either on his tummy or on his back and show him how to hold on. Then you can pull him along the floor while he “rides” on top.
This is a great activity to stimulate sensory vestibular development, gross motor development and balance.
When your little one has his head dangling upside down his movement sense is getting a healthy dose of stimulation. This sense is vital for building your little one’s postural core endurance. Try this activity around 18 months. Lourdes Bruwer, occupational therapist for Nubabi
What to do:
For more activities that will boost your baby’s Sensory Development and other key developmental skill areas, visit Nubabi and sign up for your 2 week Free Trial.
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