Making Ordinary Routines Extraordinary
A pediatrician’s perspective on the profound impact of multisensorial stimulation on young children.
Good morning everyone. My name is Sabrina Battistella. I’m a pediatrician from Brazil. And I’m going to talk how to make an ordinary routine an extraordinary experience through the multisensorial stimulation. Well, I’m an employee of Johnson & Johnson, responsible for Johnson’s® Baby Brazil and Latin America.
So what is multisensorial stimulation? It’s that convergence of stimulation from different sensory inputs, into the brain, allowing integration and establishment of a relationship between these different sensory inputs. And why we are talking about multisensorial stimulation is because the brain process for learning are enhanced when several senses are stimulated at the same time.
So, the pregnancy and the first three years of life is the, represents the fundamental basis for the development of skills sets of cognitive, motor and language that will be used through the life. Different from what they find in the past, newborns already have many important skills as emotional and not emotional. One number that has amazed me is that the baby’s brain creates up to 1.8 million of new synaptic connections per second, and all the experiences that the baby will have – what the baby feels, sees, hears, smells – promotes a long term survival of these connections.
Here we can see that the construction of a neuronal circuitry through three different periods of life, as a newborn, as age of three, and age of fourteen, after the neuronal pruning. We can see that at – in the age of three, the number of connections are huge. So, within the first three years of life, there’s a rapid development of the most of the brain’s neuronal pathway, supporting the communication, the understanding, the social development, and also the emotional well-being. By the age of three, 85% of the baby’s brain is already developed. The environment in which this baby is grown, grows up, has a profound impact on sculpting the brain. So, from the moment of birth, a baby’s senses are used as a way to learn about the physical world, and to develop close, meaningful connections to the family and the environment.
Talking about the epigenetic concept, while genes do play a role in brain development, the experiences have a significant impact on how it develops. We are not talking about stimulate babies with high tech devices, we are talking about stimulate the babies’ senses through a constant, a constant and healthy contact with the parents.
And now talking about the bath ritual, that is an everyday ritual and how to do a multisensorial stimulation. Besides the physiological function of cleaning, the bath time can be and should be a huge opportunity to stimulate the senses of the baby. So, a bath time when inside a sleep time routine that is a warm bath, a massage, and a quiet time, shows increased quality and quantity of sleep in babies, and also improves the mother’s mood. And when babies are bathed with a fragranced bath product, the baby showed 30% more engagement cues with their parents, and also the stress level measured by the cortisol in saliva of the baby and parents decreased during the bath time. So as a pediatrician, we should encourage parents to use this routine and as an opportunity to stimulate babies and help them to develop in a healthy way. Bath time can be a sensorial enrichment experience for babies, and also for the parents.
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