GROW YOUR MAGNIFICENT CHILD
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 ability to feel depth.
When baby can feel depth she can place her fingers or feet on any object that has ripples, dents, grooves, pits or holes in it and she can feel that the ripples, dents, etcetera go down into the object; that is they have depth. As mentioned in Level 3 she will also begin to feel the thickness in objects such as buttons and paper. When baby can feel depth well she can feel it almost anywhere on her body but it is her ability to feel with her fingers and feet that is particularly important.
A Sense of Touch for walking and running:
At this Level baby is still developing in the brain areas that receive information from, and also control, her feet. As part of her OMSDEP baby does much of the brain development work that affects the tactile feelings in her feet very well by herself. She does this as she becomes more mobile and crawls, creeps, runs and then walks. When she crawled her sense of touch in her feet was stimulated and (together with several other factors) developed her brain to the Level of being able to creep. When she began creeping her sense of touch in her feet was stimulated and (together with several other factors) developed her brain to the Level of being able to walk. And when she walks her sense of touch in her feet is stimulated and (together with several other factors) develops her brain to the Level of being able to run. And when she runs her sense of touch in her feet is stimulated and (together with several other factors) develops her brain and she becomes a better runner. Your daily massaging continues to assist her in this development and should be continued.
Level 4 of “BABY’S GREAT ADVENTURE” provides baby with considerable tactile stimulation to her feet (through walking and running) and therefore few additional tactile activities are needed to develop the touch response in her feet.
Touch for feeling:
By this Level baby should be well developed in feeling and knowing sensations such as soft, hard, warm and cool. The development of her ability to touch now becomes focussed more on her hands and fingers. The reason for this is that baby is now discovering her ability to use her hands as a ‘second sight’ as explained below.
In tactile development Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 parents concentrate on helping baby with her natural development of touch, using her hands as a ‘second sight’. When fully developed the sense of touch is able to identify objects such as faces, typing keyboards and musical instrument controls, such as piano keys, by touch alone. Both good typists and good pianists can read while their fingers feel the keyboards and, as is well known, blind people can identify others by feeling their faces. Less well known is the fact that people who work with varying thicknesses of paper can just as easily learn to identify the fine differences between paper thicknesses and quality by using their sense of touch. An excellent sense of touch is able to measure distances from one piano key to many others and to accurately estimate paper or sheet metal thicknesses from micrometers to centimetres. The fingers and hands contain a great many nerves to send touch sensations to the brain, and baby’s brain grows as it receives new information about thicknesses and lengths from the hands. It is worth noting at this point that a young child’s brain is able to grow more rapidly between birth and age 7 years than at any other time in her life. Consequently the effects of positive natural environmental influences on her brain growth at this time usually remain with her for a lifetime. Therefore, at this time of her life, the young child is able to develop the brain structure required to measure lengths and thicknesses by touch more easily than in the future. This is a primary reason why it is found that great musicians often began playing a musical instrument in their early childhood.
As a child, and as an adult, baby’s hands provide her with important information about objects; such as whether an object is wet, cold, round, sharp or soft. This touch feeling information helps her to identify objects and to decide if they are useful or dangerous to her. This is particularly important if she is feeling in the dark and can avoid knocking over breakable objects such as glass bottles, or when she can quickly pull her hand away if she feels a dangerous spider or animal. If objects can be identified and handled correctly by tactile feeling they can be used safely and injury can be avoided. Also, the ability to feel and hold well can significantly influence baby’s future. How well she can hold and feel objects will significantly determine the quality of her artwork, or her work as a surgeon or as a plumber, in future years. At this stage of development baby’s tactile OMSDEP is to develop the brain structure to feel depth just as she has learnt to see depth. To explain further; when an average adult looks into the distance she knows that some objects are closer to her than others. She sees depth. It is similar with the sense of touch. When an average adult lays her finger on an object such as a coin she can feel that part of it is closer to her than another part of it, and she can feel that the edge drops away to the table on which the coin is resting, even if she cannot see the coin. She feels depth. When we can feel the depth of an object we can feel our way around it without having to see it and we can decide how we will lift it, hold it or move it. Motor mechanics, for example, sometimes have to feel depth when they fit difficult to see water hoses in car motors. They feel the pipe width with their fingers and adjust its position until it can be properly fitted to another pipe. Feeling depth is also what parents sometimes do when they reach far under low furniture to retrieve lost balls, toys or marbles that they cannot see. They also feel depth when they hold a button in a pincer grip. Musicians feel depth, and usually without looking, when they press lightly, moderately or heavily on piano keys or hold down the strings of a violin or guitar. Baby can practice feeling depth by picking up coins from a flat surface. As she learns to pick up coins from a flat surface her brain develops and she progresses towards being as skilled as a motor mechanic, dentist, surgeon or great musician. Parents develop baby’s ability to feel depth and help her with her OMSDEP by doing the following activity. Ten times each day they place a small coin on a flat surface and have baby pick it up three times.
Continue massaging baby if you wish, ideally you will. Many of the primary developmental benefits of baby massage will be achieved by the time baby can walk well, but the pleasant massage experience can be continued for up to six years or more if parents so choose. Continue with full body massage if you wish or reduce massaging to baby’s feet and hands only, as her feet and hands are now the main focus of her OMSDEP. At this Level activities other than massage significantly contribute to baby’s ability to feel well with her hands and her feet, but more so to her feet than to her hands. You may also choose to reduce the number of daily massages to three or less. The massages should be spaced out evenly over the whole day. For example, in the case of doing three massages daily, one is given in the morning, one about midday and one in the evening.
Activities for parents and babies:
Ten times each day place a small coin or similar object on a flat surface and have baby pick it up three times.
Discontinue this activity for about one week approximately every other week so that baby doesn’t tire of it. Use coins of varying sizes and other objects that are similar in thickness and size to a coin from time to time to add to baby’s interest.
Always supervise baby and lovingly explain the danger to her when she has small objects that could be swallowed and cause her to choke.
Encourage baby to pick up small objects. Provide her with many opportunities to use her fingers to touch and pick up objects. Encourage her to pull toys on strings. Encourage her to have many tactile experiences as described in earlier levels. Ensure that she does not place small objects in her mouth, of course.
Continue massaging baby if you wish, ideally you will. Continue with full body massage if you wish or reduce massaging to baby’s feet and hands only, as her feet and hands are now the main focus of her OMSDEP. You may also choose to reduce the number of daily massages to three or less. The massages should be spaced out evenly over the whole day.
Encourage baby with joy and happiness each time she picks up a small object with her fingers. Be joyful and encouraging to her, be enthusiastic, delighted and happy about life and baby will likely adopt your attitude.
What baby should be doing at this Level of development:
Using a full grasp less often and more often using her fingers to pick up objects.
Picking up coins from a flat surface.
What baby should be doing as she enters the next Level of development:
Recognising some objects that she cannot see by feeling them with her hands.
Baby will indicate that she can do this when, for example, she reaches out to pick up an object such as a cup, favourite toy, food or other object without looking at it.
You might have to watch baby carefully to be sure that you notice when she does reach out to pick up an object without looking at it.
If you are unsure of baby’s ability to recognise some objects that she cannot see by feeling them with her hands read about the game ‘What Is It?’ at Level 5 and try playing that with some of her favourite objects. If playing ‘What Is It?’ at Level 5 be sure to use only baby’s favourite objects and toys; those she is familiar with. Playing ‘What Is It?’ will help baby’s tactile development and may also give you an opportunity to see baby pick up an object without looking at it.
Baby might indicate that she can recognise some objects that she cannot see by feeling them if, for example, you put a doll or a toy car into her hands to play ‘What Is It?’ and she correctly tells you what the object is.
O accomplishing the above baby is a graduate to the next Level, Feeling Well Level 5. Click on the diploma below to move on to Level 5.
An average child is likely to move on to Level 5 at approximately age 18 months.
A magnificentchildren.love child could potentially move on to Level 5 at approximately age 9 months.