Your Baby's WHAT???
The vestibular system is the “vestibule” or “entryway” for learning into the brain. The vestibular system uses information from fluid in the inner ear to let us know the overall position of our body, whether or not we are moving, and if we are moving how quickly and in what direction.
At birth, with little of the necessary sensory input that is required to organize, develop and grow, your baby's vestibular system was largely undeveloped.
Ok, So What DOES the Vestibular System Do?
The vestibular system and its development is responsible for all balance, and balance, in turn, is responsible for all mobility: everything from lifting the head or arm, to rolling over, to sitting, and, especially, crawling and standing and walking. Additionally, the vestibular system develops muscle tone, because it teaches your baby which muscles to stabilize to keep his body balanced in different positions aiding in the development of good posture and coordination. Vestibular activity also helps head movement to become coordinated with eye movement, teaching your baby how to move his eyes while changing position. Research is showing that babies who have been given regular vestibular stimulation in the earliest years of life display improved brain and body development.
So How Can You Support the Development of Your Baby’s Vestibular System?
Well...that's the easy and fun part!
Always offer adequate head support and keep movements gentle for very young babies.
By being aware of the importance of early movement and position changes for vestibular development, we can take simple steps from the start that can make a big impact on our babies’ lifelong sensory processing skills. A strong vestibular system develops through movement, so keep your little one moving!
Find More Information:
Hannaford, Carla. (2005) Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All In Your Head. Salt Lake City, Utah: Great River Books.
Karp, Harvey, M.D. (2002) The Happiest Baby On The Block. New York City, New York: Bantam Dell.
From my heart to yours,