There are many activities that parents can do to support their baby’s brain development. Providing them with enriched different experiences and enabling them to discover are the most valuable of them! So, how can you provide a variety of stimuli and find enriched environments for your baby every day? The answers are in our article!
Sensory Integration Therapy Specialist and Physiotherapist Ebru Sidar explains the importance of providing stimulus diversity to families and gives advice.
What is the Importance of Stimulus Diversity?
Brain development is tremendous during infancy. The child quickly absorbs the information he receives from the environment and his own body, processes it in the brain and makes sense of it.
The baby’s brain is programmed to develop and is constantly working to independently perform basic skills such as walking and talking as soon as possible. The most important thing that supports this development process is the variety of stimuli.
So, if you want to support your baby’s brain development, not the activities you do at home; what is really beneficial is the richness of the variety of stimuli.
What are Environmental Stimuli?
Brain development can be supported by enriched stimuli. These stimuli are received in two different ways, bodily and environmental. Developing your child’s bodily awareness is at least as valuable as environmental stimuli, and it is up to you to provide this awareness.
Let’s come to the environmental stimuli that make up the subject of our article.
The most important environmental stimulus is mother-infant attachment. The bonding of the baby with the mother, who has breastfed the baby, changed his diaper, and supported him to sleep since the first day he was born, is of critical importance in the development of the nervous system.
Apart from this, many environmental stimuli such as changing environment, movement and nutrition are effective in the development of the baby’s brain.
Studies show that identical twins with the same DNA have genetic differences between them over the years. This is called epigenetics. In other words, the way genes work due to different lifestyles changes, active and passive genes differ.
From this point of view, we can say that there are many things we can do to improve the quality of life from infancy.
How is Stimulus Richness Provided? Do Playgroups Provide Stimulus Richness?
Playgroups are the first thing that comes to the minds of parents to support the brain development of babies and to provide them with the richness that stimulates them.
While chatting with a friend the other day, he said to me, “I know, you’re against it, but I’m taking my child to playgroups.” I was surprised by my friend’s opinion, even though we hadn’t spoken before. I am not against playgroups. Even the opposite. There are programs that I like very much and recommend to parents who ask me.
But I didn’t take my kids to playgroups. Because there were so many useful things I could do and I didn’t have time and opportunity to go to playgroups because of them.
What were these useful activities?
- First; was to bring my children together with my friends’ children often. I was lucky with a friend, and my friends around me had children the same age as my children. We had meetings at each other’s house at a time. Thanks to these meetings, we enabled our children to play with different toys in a different environment and supported their socialization. We were drinking tea and coffee while our children were playing.
- Latter; every day without saying summer or winter was to go out with my children to get air. When they could not walk yet, I sat them on the ground and played with sand and grass. I watched the children playing shouting in the park. I made them meet stray animals. These tours still continue. I think these tours, which are full of surprises every time, add a lot to them.
- We also took the metro, the bus, the ferry. We threw bagels at the seagulls. We went to the zoo, to the theater, to the seaside, to the forest, to the lakeside. We made a snowman. We rode horses regularly. We kept animals, two fish, at home.
If you have plenty of time, if you have the chance to experience different environments as I mentioned above, and if you can go to the playgroup, it will be a pleasure for you. Playgroups also have many contributions to your baby’s development. The only possible downside of playgroups is the risk of limiting the quality time parents spend with their child to it.