FEELING WELL

FEELING WELL

 

 

 

LEVEL 2. 

 

 

FEELING WELL. Baby’s sense of touch and tactile development.

 

 

 

Baby’s OMSDEP: Her sense of touch and tactile development intentions.

 

  • To further develop her natural ability to feel the difference between smooth and rough surfaces. 

 

  • To further develop her natural ability to feel the difference between hot and cold until she can feel the difference between hot, warm, cool and cold.

 

  • To further develop her natural ability to mentally feel where every part of her body is without having to look at it (technically called proprioception).

 

 

Massage, touch, movement and proprioception.

 

Baby should be enjoying her daily massages and, by continuing with them, you will continue to develop her sense of touch naturally as well as the natural bond between her and yourself. By helping baby to develop an excellent sense of touch you are helping her to more easily begin Level 2 crawling when she has completed her Level 1 reflexive crawling. As a result of massaging baby should be gradually developing a relatively excellent and natural ability to feel fine or rough variations in surface texture and rises and falls in surface level.  The ability to feel surfaces well will help her to push well with her feet, and pull well with her hands and arms, when she consciously crawls by her own decision at Level 2. 

 

Regular massaging should also be developing baby’s ability to know the positions of her arms, legs and other body parts by mentally feeling them without having to look at them (technically called proprioception).  Because she already has good proprioception developing she does not have to spend a longer time developing her proprioceptive ability.  Subsequently baby can put more time into other activities that are important to her on her OMSDEP; activities such as “How can I get from here to that interesting teddy over there”. 

 

Therefore when she begins to consciously crawl baby should be able to immediately use her relatively excellent sense of touch, much of which she has developed from being massaged, rather than having to start developing a higher level of touch when she attempts to crawl voluntarily. In other words she should now have a naturally advanced level of tactile sense development that, among other advantages, gives her the opportunity to have a naturally advanced level of movement development.

 

Developing the ability to feel textures:

 

Baby will learn some things about touch and texture accidentally. Those accidental learning episodes occur, for example, when she moves or is moved on the floor, when she feels the surface where she sleeps, when she has her nappy changed, when she is dried with a towel, and when she is held. 

 

Because many parents tend to ‘pamper’ baby, thinking this is being kind to her, she might be kept in an environment where what she usually feels is very soft clothing, smooth soft bed linen and other soft surfaces. A little pampering is a good thing, and it is certainly good for parents too. But, during this and following development Levels, baby’s need is for a wide range of touch sensations so that the tactile areas in her brain can grow well and be used in the future in games such as pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, tag, tennis, golf or basketball, or for running, skipping or walking. Baby loves to be pampered for some of the time but very importantly she also likes to learn and develop her brain by having a wide range of positive learning experiences such as sometimes feeling rougher surfaces.

 

To give baby the opportunity to experience the feeling of rough and smooth textures parents do the following:

 

Put baby’s hand on some rough, but not sharp, sandpaper (or any similarly rough surface) and very gently pull it across the paper one or two centimetres so as to allow her to feel the rough surface but not to hurt her skin. To give her language as well as touch information about what she is feeling say to baby, “This is a rough surface.” Then gently pull baby’s hand across the surface and make the statement again, “This is a rough surface.” Repeat the process with baby’s other hand and with the soles of her feet. Do this three times a day for 5 days. Then do it once each day until she completes this Level.

 

Immediately after giving baby a rough surface touch sensation give her a smooth touch sensation using a piece of polished steel, a piece of satin cloth or some other smooth item. Use the same procedure as described above for a rough surface but this time say, “This is a smooth surface.”

 

Developing the ability to feel temperatures:

 

As well as learning to feel pressure and texture at this Level, baby develops a greater ability to feel temperature. 

 

When children and adults respond well to temperature changes in the environment they wear the correct amount of clothing to keep warm or to keep cool.  Children or adults who’s ability to feel temperature is underdeveloped due to brain injury or a poor learning and development environment are more prone to catching colds and other illnesses because they are slow to respond to drops in body temperature. They might also have difficulty deciding when a bath is too hot or too cold and may be prone to burning themselves when cooking or working with heat in other ways. 

 

The ideal temperature for a naked baby’s environment is at or a little above the normal human body temperature; that is about 37C or 98.6F.  If the temperature is lower then she needs clothing to keep her warm. Therefore, if baby is taken into a swimming pool with her parents the water temperature should be at or a little above body temperature. If the water is cooler she will likely soon become uncomfortable and her resistance to disease could be lowered and she may fall ill. Most babies love to swim in body temperature water but when the water is too cold they will usually soon start looking distressed and begin to cry as their body temperature drops. The psychological effect of water that is too cold or too hot can be that baby develops a dislike of being in water. 

 

For the good of baby’s health therefore, always try to provide her with an environment that maintains her body temperature at close to 37C. But, if she is always at normal temperature the following question arises. How will her brain’s sense of touch develop well so it can always quickly and accurately feel hot or cold temperatures and know if the temperature is safe or unsafe for her?

 

Children usually develop their ability to feel higher temperatures when they have opportunities to feel heat by sitting near a heat source such as a fire or cooking stove at meal times, or an electric heater during winter; or they might experience hot weather, feel sunlight as it shines into their home through a window, or have hot drinks or baths. Children usually develop their ability to feel cold when they have opportunities to feel cold weather or cold baths, feel cold wind blowing on their cheeks when they are outdoors, feel cold air from air-conditioning or a refrigerator; or they might experience cold by eating an ice treat at about 12 months of age. They also learn about and develop their ability to feel hot and cold by accident if, for example, they put their finger in an adult’s hot drink, hold onto ice, or touch a hot cooking pot. Such accidents can be painful learning experiences.

 

Because they learn about hot and cold temperatures at an early stage in their development, and because their ability to feel hot and cold should be well developed, magnificentchildren.love children take an intelligent approach to the risk of temperature induced injuries. They are therefore considerably less likely to cause themselves injury by heat or cold than is the average child. 

 

The environment develops the ability to feel hot and cold: 

 

Children are usually naturally curious and they want to know absolutely everything. If they do not understand what hot and cold mean they might try to find out by themselves and hurt themselves in the process. Some parents are very concerned about the potential danger that hot and cold temperatures present and they set up a regime of rules to protect children from the risk of burning and the effects of cold. Such parents might often warn their children not to get hot or not to get cold, and may even severely rebuke the children if they get close to a fire or other hot object. When the weather is cold such parents will often tell their children what they should wear to keep them warm, and the children are often wrongly berated if they have other opinions or don’t clearly understand what hot or cold means.

 

Natural parents help their children to develop their brain’s natural sense of touch so the brain can properly feel hot or cold. Natural parents also teach their children what the words hot and cold mean so their children can be more in charge of their own lives and benefit by making correct decisions about exposure to hot and cold environments or objects. 

 

One way to develop baby’s ability to feel hot and cold:

 

As mentioned above baby should usually be kept at the normal human temperature of about 37C. To develop her natural ability to feel cold well magnificentchildren.love parents allow her to feel ice. And to develop her natural ability to feel what hot means magnificentchildren.love parents carefully and safely hold her a safe distance from a source of heat, such as a wood fire or an electric bar heater, for a few seconds. Using an electric bar heater for example, a safe distance can be estimated by holding your palm near the heater for about five seconds. If your palm feels hot and safe for baby, but definitely not too hot, then you have selected a suitable point at which baby can be held. Obviously baby must be held safely so there is no risk that she will fall onto the heater. While holding her close to the heater tell baby: “This is hot”.

 

Baby can be taught the meaning of cold by a similar method. She can be held near an open freezer unit or refrigerator where she can feel the cold and be told, “This is cold”.  She can also be touched for a few seconds by an ice cube and told, “This is cold”.  After being sufficiently exposed to hot and cold objects in this way baby should know what hot and cold are. The number of times it is recommended to briefly expose baby to hot and cold temperatures is given below.

 

  • To help baby to develop her ability to feel heat proceed as follows: 

 

While baby is awake, hold her safely near a source of heat for three to five seconds as described above and say, “This is hot.” Do this three times each day until she completes this Level.

 

It is best if baby is wearing only a nappy or no clothing at all during this activity so she can feel the heat over much of her body. 

 

  • To help baby to develop her ability to feel cold proceed as follows: 

 

While baby is awake place an ice cube into her right hand for three seconds and say, “This is cold.” Then repeat the procedure in her left hand. Then repeat the procedure but touch another part of two of her limbs, for example, one foot and one upper arm. During hot weather in particular baby might enjoy this game. Avoid leaving the ice on baby for more than three seconds so as to keep the experience pleasant and not to allow it to become unpleasant. Do this three times each day until she completes this Level.

 

By teaching baby about temperature and by helping her to develop her brain’s ability to understand the difference between hot and cold at this level you can very significantly reduce the likelihood that she will accidentally burn or freeze herself in the future. She will also be better prepared for the future when she needs to dress herself warmly for cold weather and coolly for hot weather. 

 

Home: A Fun Park and Children’s Science Centre:

 

Because they have a strong natural desire to learn about and experience the world they live in most children from about three to twelve years old love hands-on science activity centres and fun or theme parks. That strong natural desire to learn and experience is no less in younger children from birth to three years of age than it is in older children; and many of the scientific and theme park activities that are enjoyed by three to twelve year olds are also enjoyed by the birth to three year olds. The main difference between the activity needs of the two age groups is that the younger group requires activities that are less intensive and that focus on their lower levels of development.  The point to be made here is that magnificentchildren.love parents are creating an everyday Children’s Science Centre and Fun Park for their child in their own home. Children love positive attention and assistance from adults. Just as older children enjoy fun parks, games and science centres so your baby can enjoy the science and fun you are creating for her at her particular level of development. Baby will certainly find your loving, positive attention and assistance more interesting and enjoyable than being left to amuse herself throughout most of the day. In this context tactile development is fun, massage is fun, learning about temperature is fun, learning about texture and all the other enjoyable activities and arrangements parents make for baby to help with her OMSDEP, are fun.

 

Maintain a positive attitude: 

 

Parents should never do magnificentchildren.love activities that they do not wish to do. It is important that parents decide to what extent they wish to help their child’s development by doing the magnificentchildren.love activities. Parents who feel timid or unsure about doing any of the activities are likely to convey that feeling to their child and the child is then likely to feel similarly. It is always best for parents to do only those activities that they feel secure and satisfied with. Doing an excellent job with the activities you are happy with is far better for your child than doing a poor job with activities you are not happy with. 

 

Activities for parents and babies:

 

A list of magnificentchildren.love activities follows. These are practical activities for children to do with their parent’s help. Magnificentchildren.love parents create the environment baby requires to complete her OMSDEP.  In many cases, these activities are the environment required and, after commencement, promote baby’s excellent natural development. 

 

The activity list sometimes includes extracts of preceding sections as well as new information. The list is intended for use as a day to day checklist for quick and easy reference but, to fully understand and participate in the activities, parents may need to re-read the entire Level, or other parts of this book, from time to time.

 

Proprioception development.

 

Continue to massage baby every day as often and in the same way as described in Level 1. 

 

 

  1. Developing the ability to feel texture.

 

Put baby’s hand on some rough, but not sharp, sandpaper (or any similarly rough surface) and very gently pull it across the paper one or two centimetres so as to allow her to feel the rough surface but not to hurt her skin. To give her language as well as touch information about what she is feeling say to baby, “This is a rough surface.” Then gently pull baby’s hand across the surface and make the statement again, “This is a rough surface.” Repeat the process with baby’s other hand and with the soles of her feet. Do this three times a day for 5 days. Then do it once each day until she completes this Level.

 

Immediately after giving baby a rough surface touch sensation give her a smooth surface touch sensation using a piece of polished steel, a piece of satin or velvet or some other smooth item. Use the same procedure as described above for a rough surface but this time say, “This is a smooth surface.”

 

  1. A variety of touch sensations. 

 

Make a wide variety of touch sensations available to baby every day and tell her what those sensations are. Kitchens and bathrooms are often good sources of items that provide a variety of touch sensations.

 

Whenever you can help baby to touch food, clothing, towels, building materials, plants, flowers, trees or any of the other hundreds of different touch sensations in the home, forest or back yard, do so.   Take baby to each of those objects in their environment and allow her to touch them and tell her what type of sensation it is. For example, rough, soft, hard, smooth, sticky, wet, oily, slippery, pressure tickle, itch, vibrations and pitted sensations.

 

Keep in mind that, from baby’s point of view you are creating an everyday Children’s Science Centre and Fun Park in her home. She loves that!

 

  1. Hot and cold touch development.

 

  • To help baby to develop her ability to feel heat proceed as follows: 

 

While baby is awake hold her safely near a source of heat for three to five seconds as described above and say, “This is hot.” Do this three times each day until she completes this Level.

 

It is best if baby is wearing only a nappy (or nothing at all) during this activity so she can feel the heat over much of her body. 

 

  • To help baby to develop her ability to feel cold proceed as follows: 

 

While baby is awake place an ice cube into her right hand for three seconds and say, “This is cold.” Then repeat the procedure in her left hand. Then repeat the procedure but touch another part of two of her limbs, for example, one foot and one upper arm. During hot weather in particular baby might enjoy this game. Avoid leaving the ice on baby for more than three seconds so as to keep the experience pleasant and not to allow it to become unpleasant.

 

Follow the procedure to help baby to develop her ability to feel cold three times each day until she completes this Level.

 

What baby should be doing at this Level of development:

 

  1. If anything happens to hurt baby, anywhere on her body, she should feel pain immediately and she will cry or try to move away from the pain. Pain can also be internal and be caused by hunger.

 

2. Baby should be able to feel hot and cold and indicate that she feels uncomfortable with too much heat or cold. 

 

What baby should be doing as she enters the next Level of development:

 

  1. Baby should seek to be cuddled and hugged and should be clearly enjoying her massages, because she now has the touch feeling ability with which she can enjoy the closeness of loving touch. 

 

2. By her expressions and behaviour baby will demonstrate that she enjoys comfort and doesn’t enjoy discomfort. For example, baby will ‘make a fuss’ if she has a wet nappy.

 

3. Baby should demonstrate that she can feel the difference between warm and cool (as well as the difference between hot and cold). She will likely demonstrate this by ‘making a fuss’ if she feels too warm or cool.

When baby does as above she is a graduate to the next Level, Feeling Well Level 2. Click on the diploma below to move on to Level 3.

 

An average child is likely to move on to Level 3 at approximately age 7 months.

 

A magnificentchildren.love child could potentially move on to Level 3 at approximately age 3.5 months.

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