Did you know that sensory experience and movement are vital to infant development and growth? Touch is one of the most important sensory inputs for the development of the brain. Furthermore, movement and cognition are closely related.
Our skin provides protection from the external world and provides us with feedback about our environment and temperature. It also allows us to feel pressure and vibrations as sensations that allow us to regulate where we are in space. So when we hold our baby, it gives the receptors in the skin feedback and pressure that lets baby begin to know where their body is in space. This is called proprioception.
In addition, it has been proven that babies crave contact with their parents and/or caregivers. They need this physical contact to build trust in their parents and trust in the world. This contact is a crucial component in building positive self-esteem and trust that his/her needs will be met. Touch and skin-to-skin contact enhance bonding between the parent and infant.
Scientists now believe that to achieve full development of the mature brain, stimulation in the form of movement and sensory experiences during the early developing years is necessary. Neuroscientist Carla Hannaford, author of Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All in Your Head, explains that beginning in infancy, physical movement plays a vital role in the creation of the nerve cell networks that are at the core of learning. The more children move, the more information they are gathering about the their environment and themselves.
It is critical in today’s fast-paced world, where our infants and toddlers spend so much of their time in car seats, strollers, and carriers, that we get them moving and we have that critical skin to skin bonding time. Obviously, one of the ways you can do this is by increasing the amount of time that you hold your baby, make more eye contact, and by moving them. However, if you would like to do this in a way that is fun and provides optimal stimulation, join a Baby Bonding Class at Charlotte Aquatics.
The Baby Bonding Class allows your infant to experience touch and movement in a fun and fantastic way – in the water! Because there is great skin-to-skin contact between you and your baby, there are many opportunities to promote bonding and improve brain development. In addition, the hydrostatic pressure of the water magnifies the sensory stimulation that your baby receives as he/she moves through water. Movement in this aquatic environment enhances learning, increases verbalization, stimulates the visual system, and promotes integration of the nervous system.
To learn more about how you can make your child safer, healthier, and smarter ™ call us today at (704) 341-9673.