Updated: Apr 24, 2019
Your baby best benefits from balanced and meaningful stimulation when baby starts sensing after 5th month.
Stimulation is critical for brain development. I believe that the first 1000 days of life are most critical for a child's growth and brain development. Connections are established between brain tissues when stimulated.
Studies showed that stimulated babies developed better hearing, linguistic, and motor development. They tend to sleep better, are more alert, confident and contented. Learning capacity is enhanced. They are calmer with familiar sounds in-utero. Stimulated babies bond better. Prenatal stimulation seeds a lasting foundation for loving communication and healthy parent-child relationships.
However, I warned against over stimulation of babies. Let's remember 4 easy steps of baby stimulation:
#1 Keep to right stimulation at right time
The best time is when your baby is well fed and rested. This may be after early morning feed. Your contented baby will benefit optimally from stimulation.
#2 Avoid overstimulation
This may lead to fussy babies and is not beneficial. Watch your baby for signs of fussing and withdrawal and stimulate only when baby is calm and alert. Look out for early signs of overstimulation, such as looking away, high pitched shrieks and hand sucking. Stop the stimulation if baby shows these signs.
#3 Don’t over schedule your baby from busy activities
Avoid rushing baby from one activity to the next. Choose baby classes with care and thought and schedule them so that baby gets protected sleep time. An overtired baby does not enjoy or benefit from stimulation. Babies under three months are very vulnerable to overstimulation. Babies under six months do not need extra stimulation in group classes. Between 6-12 months, one stimulation class per week is enough.
#4 Calm activity works before sleep
Calm activities are important before sleep time. Keep stimulation at playtime during the day. When baby is tired, go for a walk or play soft music, which will calm the baby.