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For those who want to find out more about babies

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Babies and sense

Interests Main Menu

by Mark Lamendola,
former baby

Loving a baby is more than that warm feeling you have because you are a proud parent. There are times when babies lose their cuteness. They get sick, they need diaper changes, they wake you up, and so on.

But it goes deeper than that. A baby is in a state of rapid change. A baby's brain is busy wiring itself for the world the baby sees, hears, smells, tastes, and feels.

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Helping the baby see
. From day one, you need to stimulate the baby's eyesight. Mobiles in the crib are nice, but the baby also needs to go outside and see across the horizon. If you are stuck in the city, try to get to an upper floor of a tall building. Don't put the baby up to the glass, but look out the window.

Exercise the baby's near and far vision. Take your baby to the woods, and quietly watch the birds, squirrels, and other animals scurry about. Set the baby on your lap and trace words in books as you read to the baby--believe it or not, this early reading experience does incredible things for the baby's brain.

Helping the baby hear. Many people use the television as a babysitter, thinking it will help the baby learn language. But television is the pits for language--and the sound is too cluttered. Instead, borrow books on tape from the library and let the child hear a story. Take time to read to the baby, yourself. One-on-one attention is wonderful.

Helping the baby smell. Avoid perfumes in your home and on your person--give the baby time to develop a good sense of smell and to know your smell. Keep the air in your house clean. You can buy HEPA filters everywhere, now. Limit your use of harsh cleaners and solvents to times when the baby is not present. Let your home have the aroma of healthy, whole foods--not fast foods or deep-fried foods, as these have odors you don't want your baby to develop an affinity for.

Helping your baby taste. Let your baby taste fresh fruits and vegetables. Unsaturated oils and fats are good for your baby. Don't smother the food with salt, ketchup, sugar, or too many spices. A few condiments are OK, but your baby's "wiring" needs variety to develop properly.

Helping your baby feel. Quiet time with your baby helps--let the baby focus on one major sense at a time.

Your baby must be able to feel in a tactile way--that is, through the fingers and other areas of the skin. Give your baby various textures to feel on the tips of fingers and toes.

Your baby must be able to feel in a kinetic way--that is, through a sense of where each body part is and what it is doing. Touch your baby's feet, hands, and back often. Make your baby aware of his or her limbs, so your baby learns early control of them. Body kinesis is the mark of a good athlete--help give your baby this gift.

Finally, your baby must be able to see without seeing. That is, your baby needs to develop that "sixth sense." With a normal baby, this will happen if you use imaging. You can communicate with your baby with just your mind (my mother has been doing this with me for almost 40 years--I know when she wants me to call her). For example, if your baby is lying on the floor, try doing this: instead of going to the baby, imagine the baby's coming to you. Stimulating your baby's senses in this way will allow your baby to develop that part of the brain that senses danger before sight or sound can. Sadly, most humans do not develop this "sixth sense."

Work with your baby to stimulate all of your baby's senses, and you will have a happier baby who grows into a more powerful adult.

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