Early stimulation is providing babies and children the best opportunities for their physical, intellectual and social development. In this sense, early stimulation includes a series of exercises and activities which can be applied from birth until the child reaches 6 or 7 years old, the age range with the greatest cerebral plasticity, although we can also talk about prenatal stimulation.
Although early stimulation refers to several areas (cognitive, motor, language and social-emotional), in the case of the method that we apply in BabyWiseTunes, we can speak about stimulating the cognitive area, the language area and the social-emotional area. These areas are vitally important:
- Cognitive area: allows the child to understand, relate and adapt to new situations, using thinking and direct interaction with objects and the surroundings.
- Language area: references the skills that allow the child to communicate with his or her surroundings.
- Social-emotional area: includes the child’s emotional experiences and socialization skills. The child will feel loved, safe and capable of relating with others. Creating an emotional bond is crucial to stimulate this area.
Early stimulation or overstimulation?
Now comes the big question. Stimulating our babies, seriously? But, our babies are already hyperstimulated, they already receive information constantly, there are cell phones, the streets are filled with ads, store windows, music in one store, music in another; at home we constantly have the TV on in the background, toys that sing, dolls that go potty… Children today are most likely part of the generation of children most exposed to information and stimuli that has ever existed.
They have the internet within their reach to be able to look for information whenever they want. Wikipedia, dictionaries, Google,… These are children who have the opportunity to learn everything by watching YouTube tutorials. Then, why are we interested in stimulating the babies, precisely when they can still live in a world without an overdose of information? Why don’t we let them live peacefully, without offering them more stimuli than they already experience in everyday life? Great question…
Here is where the concept of proper stimulation appears. We have to differentiate what is proper stimulation and what is overstimulation.
Baby crying… because of too many stimuli
If you have children and they are already a few months old, you’ll certainly understand the following anecdote. You go to a birthday party for an older child, to a crowded place, where there’s noise, children screaming, many colors on the walls for the birthday decorations, background music, many new people… Your 4-month-old baby is good, she stays in the carrier, sleeping, nursing, she seems calm; but after an hour your baby begins to cry and cry and will only calm down when you leave the party. Also that same night, the baby cries and cries, and can’t calm down. What happened? The baby feels overstimulated.
Our proposal, the Munné method, is based on proper stimulation. Our motto: less is more. Sometimes it’s better to do less so that the baby can integrate everything that’s been done. Our early stimulation methodrespects the baby and his or her needs. It is an enjoyable method, which also helps to calm the child down and, above all, to create a healthy emotional bond between parents and children.