Sensory Skills and the Parent-Infant Relationship
A healthy baby is born with all of the basics necessary for sensory skills. These skills continue to develop in the early months of his life. Some of his senses may be more mature than others, but they all prove important in helping him learn about and make connections in his world. Although every baby is different, simple interactions can help him to develop his sensory skills in infancy. These interactions are not only crucial to developing sensory skills, but also to building a healthy parent-infant relationship. When your baby is born, she will only be able to see about 12 to 18 inches in front of her face, and she won't be able to see color until she is 4 to 6 months old. As an infant, she will become drawn to faces and the colors black and white. Hold your baby close to your face so she can focus on you, and doodle black and white spirals for her to look at. Walk her from room to room so she can see how the natural light changes. Try not to overload her with too many colors or sights because too much sensory exposure may overload and overwhelm her. Your baby's sense of smell also develops in infancy. He will become able to recognize his mother's scent after just a few weeks, and he may turn to a breast or bottle containing milk. You can develop your baby's sense of smell by exposing him to different things throughout the day. Verbally label the scents for your baby. For example, while changing his diaper, tell him that it smells stinky. While going for a walk outside, tell him that the flowers smell nice. The Scholastic website states that babies who are touched often have brains two and a half times bigger than babies who are rarely touched. Your baby's sense of touch helps her to develop trust and social skills, especially when you make an effort to touch her often. Give her an infant massage, lightly rub her feet and clap her hands. Expose her to different textures, such as a soft cloth, scratchy piece...
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