What Is the Vestibular System and Why Is It Important for Your Baby???
You made it to another Friday and yes, I know, vestibular is a rather large word to be using on a Friday afternoon when our brains are tired from another busy week. But, since this is such an important facet of your child's development, we need to tackle it....sooner, rather than later.
The vestibular system is located in the inner ear and it is the system that is responsible for balance. This system aids in other skills, besides balance. The vestibular system also helps muscle tone, posture, coordination, spatial awareness (you know those kids who sometimes stand too close or on top of you), vision, and also speech, hearing and language. The next time you are at the playground, examine how differently the children play on the equipment. Why can some children cross the suspension bridge without holding onto the railing, while others are white-knuckling it and still find it difficult to cross? And what about those children coming off of the merry-go-round and walking in a straight line, while others look like they are about to spew their lunch of macaroni and cheese? It's not strictly by chance that some children have more balance than others. Balance is a skill that you can start working on with your baby from birth.
When children are free to move as infants, they are able to enjoy a variety of playground activities. Some children are scared of new movements, such as spinning or swinging. To insure that your child will adapt well to movement, you can start working on it in infancy. Offer your baby a variety of positions while playing - on their back, tummy time, and lying on either side. You can also limit their time in "containers," and hold them while dancing and rocking. The more you do these activities with your baby, the more movement they will seek out and by the time they are in pre-school, they will be climbing trees, swinging, riding a bike, and spinning 'til their heart's content. Try these activities with your baby today and set them up for success later in life. You got this...it's all in the bag!