Why Is My 3 Month Old Baby Grabbing His Head Child Sensory Development

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Child Sensory Development

Promoting Sensory Development in Children

At birth, your baby’s senses tell him the things he needs to survive: when to eat and when to sleep. Neither of you is focused on auditory, visual, or tactile development, but you both will be soon. These feelings develop slowly, but perceptibly, and soon you will notice that your baby sees more clearly, turns his head to the sound of your voice and wants to grab objects.

As your baby grows, you’ll find it a constant but rewarding challenge to keep him engaged, and you can help develop his sensory awareness from infancy through preschool years.

Infant Sensory Development

Your baby has been able to hear since before birth, and probably recognizes your voice. Simply talking to your baby about anything will help imprint language on his developing mind. While there is debate about the benefits of playing classical music for babies, it is certain that soft music can soothe and comfort a baby. Lullabies have survived years of parenting because they soothe and calm both baby and parent. The gentle rhythm of music can mimic the heartbeat sounds your baby heard so long in the womb and will help prepare him for language development.

Babies love to look at faces, either yours or representations of them. Keep a picture book of faces on the changing table for your baby to study while you change him. Bright, contrasting designs like black and white graphics will stimulate his vision, especially when he’s still in the fledgling stage of seeing stark contrast against detail.

As your baby is able to hold objects, offer him a variety of textures to touch. Fuzzy blankets or inflatable teething toys will help his fine motor skills and keep him interested. Your baby will discover that anything he can hold can go straight to his mouth, and when he starts teething, he’ll appreciate raised textures and cool teething rings.

Infant Sensory Development

Toddlers seem to be natural musicians. Banging on pots and pans, singing loudly and stomping on the floor all bring that wonderful feeling of “I did it!” to your developing toddler. Remember the classics from your childhood and some new songs from the many rock-bands-turned-children’s bands, and be prepared to sing or play them over and over again. Toddlers love repetition, so don’t be surprised if you can’t get “Five Green and Spotted Frogs” out of your head for days.

Picture books are great ways to stimulate your child’s visual senses. Keep a rotating stack of picture books with bright, interesting designs close at hand, and your toddler will gravitate to study their pages.

Modeling clay, Play-Doh and finger paints, although they may be messy, are wonderful avenues of discovery for your toddler. The various textures will encourage his little motor development and help prepare him for handwriting. You can find many homemade modeling recipes that are non-toxic and easy to make.

Preschool Sensory Development

Preschoolers thrive on sensory stimulation. At this age, they are ready to make distinctions between sounds, experimenting with their own voices and making imaginative play a daily routine. Watch how your preschooler plays with dolls or figures, and you will surely find that he assigns different voices to different characters. Encourage your child to listen to different bird calls, for example, and talk about how genres of music sound different and use different instruments.

Your child’s artistic talents are also growing, and painting and drawing are great ways to let your preschooler experiment with light, composition, and color. Keep crayons and markers and non-toxic paints handy, and he’ll naturally produce visual art masterpieces you’ll want to display around your house.

Allow your preschooler to experiment with textures and sensations, too. Sand boxes, slime or lace cards and simple sewing projects will help him differentiate between textures and develop his tactile senses.

Growing Sensory Development

Since people include sight, hearing and touch in everyday life, you do not need special or technical objects to develop these senses in your child. Watch and listen to your daily life. The bird feeder, the sunset and the feeling of dirt in the spring are all perfect opportunities to engage your child’s senses, and will remind you to take a moment to enjoy these things too.

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