Aromas for your baby: olfactory stimulation
In the early stimulation of babies are used as input pathways of stimuli each and every one of the five senses. The smell and taste they are the two least used by adults, but that does not mean that they are not important for the stimulation of babies.
As with the rest of the senses, its repeated and varied use creates certain neuronal connections that develop the brain of the baby and prepare him for subsequent learning.
The olfactory sensitivity of babies
Newborns can recognize the specific smell of breast milk and differentiate the body odor of the mother from that of another person. At twelve hours of age, the baby already has his olfactory preferences. If you smell a ripe banana, its appearance shows satisfaction. If we present unpleasant odors, rotten egg type, makes funny faces and begins to scream. Parents should ensure that the smells that breathe are always pleasant; It is also appropriate to take the child in his crib or chair to the kitchen, while we prepare the food: this way he will be able to discover other smells.
Scents that a baby likes
- Parent body odor
- Perfumes and flowers
- Vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, chocolate
Unpleasant odors for a baby
- Cleaning products
- Cigarette smoke, cigar or pipe
- Citric acid (lemon or orange).
Exercises for the olfactory stimulation of babies
1. A special perfume
To stimulate the baby's olfactory sensitivity, we will comfortably seat our child on the knees and we will quickly pass, for 30 seconds, the bottle of our favorite perfume under the child's nose. We will do this about three times. It also serves the father's shaving lotion or any product with a pleasant smell.
2. Smells and words
To reinforce the olfactory stimulation, we can talk with our son while we pass under his nose essence of mint, for example. We will pass it quickly under his nose three times and we will comment on his changes of expression loudly and exaggeratedly: "You seem happy, you like this smell, it's very nice". We can also smell it ourselves and say "what a good smell" while making expressive gestures.
3. This smells and tastes
Another good exercise that reinforces the olfactory stimuli is to get used to giving the child to smell everything he is going to take, before starting, also naming the food. We can pose it as a game, with a lot of fuss and smiles so that the baby feels happy.
Thus, we associate the sense of smell with that of taste and stimulation is enhanced.
4. In the kitchen with your baby
Let's take advantage of the fact that we are in the kitchen preparing the food to take our baby and capture the different smells, always pleasant. The baby's attention and gestures will change when we approach different foods such as bananas, oranges or the stews that we are preparing.
We will reinforce the stimulation if, at the same time, we name out loud the name of the meals, the ingredients, etc.
Beatriz Bengoechea.Psychologist and family counselor.