The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. After six months of age, infants should receive age appropriate foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Consult your doctor before deciding to use infant formula or if you have difficulty breastfeeding.
Developing your little one’s five senses are important for their future. The world is a beautiful mixture of sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touch. Try these tips to create a richer sensory experience for your little one and you!
Toddlers use their sense of sight all the time, but you can use certain games or activities to help them understand better. Try playing “I Spy”. They will need to rely on their sight to find out what object you are describing. To show them the importance of sight, try blindfolding them and giving them items to feel and guess what it is.
Engage your little one with strong scented items. Put items like an onion, vanilla, cinnamon, cheese and perfume-soaked cotton balls in small containers with lids. Poke a hole in each lid so the smell can escape. Your little one can smell the containers and guess what is inside. Ask them to describe what they thought was a good or bad smell.
Now, your own ears may suffer a little bit from this, but musical instruments are the perfect tool for your little one to explore their sense of hearing. Experiment with different instruments and the sounds they make. You could also try taking them for a “sound walk”. This is when you take them outside and encourage them to stay as quiet as they can, so they are able to hear their surroundings. Stop occasionally to listen for specific sounds.
What better way to experiment with taste than to bake together? Baking cookies with your little one is a chance for them to taste the different ingredients like sugar or oatmeal. You can also educate them about the different types of flavours, such as sweet, salty and bitter.
Offer your little one different textures to touch with a “sensory table”. Attach materials like, cotton balls, aluminium foil, silk and sandpaper to a board or table so they can feel the differences. Change the items in the sensory table as you go, to give them different touch sensations. Include materials like water, rice, sand, bubble liquid, straw, shaving cream, oatmeal or shredded paper.