Our vestibular system is a sensory system to help us with balance, position, and motion. When this sense is stimulated in babies (usually by some form of movement), it not only helps their sensory abilities develop, but also helps their motor abilities and early brain development overall. As you have probably already discovered when you trigger it, the added benefit is that it is comforting to your baby! Here are ways to stimulate the vestibular system:
- Sit in a comfortable seat and lay your baby on your lap. Sway and rock your baby rhythmically and gently from side to side. Talk or sing to her.
- Rock, jiggle, swing, bounce, and carry your baby around. Even putting her in a sitting position (make sure she is developmentally ready) or propped up on pillows is a different position compared to what she’s usually in and will stimulate her vestibular system.
As always, practice safety. Do not do rigorous movements. Make sure your baby’s head is stabilized either by you or by themselves if they are strong enough.