In the section below are some ideas on play and how sensory processing can be fostered during various play events. Following that are some ideas on how to improve sensory processing during daily routines. Some of these ideas are a combination of play with a particular daily routine.
POSITIONING DEVICES: Limit the time the baby spends in a bouncy seat, bouncer, or other positioning devices. Standing devices such as bouncers are not meant for younger babies (below 6 months of age) nor are they meant to use for a prolonged amount of time (over 15 minute increments). Walkers are controversial and adult supervision must be used if the baby is to be placed in one; be aware that babies are not likely to walk any sooner if using a walker and are at an increased risk of injury such as when pulling down items from shelves, pulling electrical cords, or falling down steps/stairs. Encouraging movements such as sitting on the floor and cruising (sideways steps) along furniture is more beneficial for gross motor development than positioning devices. In addition, the shape of a baby's head may be altered if left in too many devices (bouncer seat, car seat, etc.) especially when also sleeping for long bouts of time on his back.
SENSORY DIET: TASTE/ SMELL:
A sensory diet is a plan to provide extra opportunities of sensory input regulary throughout the day. Below are activities from each of the sensory systems that can be included in the sensory diet of a baby. Remember not to over-whelm the baby with too many activities and be sure to read his signals of being over-stimulated (listed on "alertness & crying" page). The sensory diet should vary and be balanced as this promotes learning and interaction with the world through the senses.
Ideas to encourage the visual sense include:
Let the baby play with and touch his food before eating it and don't worry about being messy
Baby proof your home by putting fragile figurines or dangerous objects out of reach, cover electrical outlets, close off cabinet doors, and use baby gates when necessary, yet let the baby freely explore within a safe environment. When choosing toys for the baby to play with, remember to make sure items are too big to swallow, non-toxic, and free of sharp edges.