The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)."Babies exposed to stimulation get brain boost." January 2, 2017

This modern brain research shows that early stimulation contributes to brain development gains even in the wee ones among us. Neurons in very young children form up to a thousand new connections per second. The results show that the neurons in the brains of young children quickly increase in both number and specialization as the baby learns new skills at a younger age of 0 to 3 years old. Even the smallest babies must be challenged and stimulated at their level from birth onward. They need to engage their entire body and senses by exploring their world and different materials, both indoors and out and in all types of weather. Brains of young children are very malleable, and can therefore adapt to what is happening around them and if this opportunity is missed in the early days of life then this capability disappear as the child grows up and the brain loses some of its plasticity. Children don’t learn language by watching someone talk on a screen, it has to be real people who expose them to the language. Even a very young child can easily learn to read or swim, as long as the child has access to letters or water.

Stimulation is important for baby development

Children of young age who had no stimulation or personal contact displayed severe developmental delay This resulted in stating that the environment have an indeed impact on a child’s development. And this encouraged infant stimulation and enriched environments in the first year of a newborn. A baby never has more brain cells in his life than on the day he is born. However it is the connections between these cells that are important for intelligence and coordination. The connections between the brain cells are formed and strengthened by sensory information and experience – and so a certain amount of sensory input and fertile experiences are necessary for the brain to develop optimally. Parents should provide an enriched environment and they should facilitate play, in order to enhance development.

Health and Safety Notes California Childcare Health Program Why Infant Stimulation Is So Important?

Infant’s environment has a dramatic affect on brain building and healthy development. In the first years of a baby’s life, the brain is busy building its wiring system. Activity in the brain creates tiny electrical connections called synapses. The early years are the “prime time” for a young developing brain. This intense period of brain growth and network building capacity happens only once in a lifetime. Interesting stimulation can enhance curiosity, attentiveness, concentration and love of learning in the growing infant and toddler. The infant is constantly analyzing the caregiver and figuring out ways to mimic their voice and facial expressions as a means of learning. As caregivers and parents there is an unique opportunity to help encourage the formation of brain circuitry in our infants.

Neurophysiological development in premature infants following stimulation. Rice, Ruth D. Developmental Psychology, Vol 13(1), Jan 1977, 69-76

Tactile kinesthetic stimulation was given to 15 premature infants to determine effects on neurophysiological development. The mothers of the Ss were trained to administer the treatment for 15 min 4 times a day for 1 month. Results indicate that experimental Ss made significant gains in neurological development, in weight gain, and in mental development. Findings suggest that the early and systematic stimulation provided by the mothers can enhance development of premature infants.

Preterm Infants’ Orally Directed Behaviors and Behavioral State Responses to the Integrated H-HOPE Intervention

The purpose of this study was to determine whether the integrated H-HOPE (Hospital to Home: Optimizing the Infant’s Environment) intervention would improve infant behavioral organization by increasing the frequency of orally directed behaviors and the proportion of time spent in an alert behavioral state when offered prior to oral feeding.

Effects of tactile/kinesthetic stimulation on the clinical course and sleep/wake behavior of preterm neonates

Forty preterm neonates treated in an intensive care nursery (M gestational age= 31 weeks, M birthweight=1274 gms) were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. The treatment infants received tactile/kinesthetic stimulation (body massage and passive movements of the limbs) for three 15-min periods during three consecutive hours for a 10-day period.

Tactile/Kinesthetic Stimulation Effects on Preterm Neonates

Tactile/kinesthetic stimulation was given to 20 preterm neonates (mean gestational age, 31 weeks; mean birth weight, 1,280 g; mean time in neonatal intensive care unit, 20 days) during transitional (“grower”) nursery care, and their growth, sleep-wake behavior, and Brazelton scale performance was compared with a group of 20 control neonates.

Effects of Tactile-Kinesthetic Stimulation in Preterms: A Controlled Trial

The neonates were systematically allocated into test and control groups. Test babies received tactile-kinesthetic stimulation in the form of a structured baby massage from day 3 to term corrected age.

Salivary Cortisol and Behavioral State Responses of Healthy Newborn Infants to Tactile-Only and Multisensory Interventions

Tactile-only stimulation may increase infant stress reactivity while the benefit of the multisensory auditory, tactile, visual, and vestibular intervention may be in the reduction of infant stress reactivity. Interventions appeared to have minimal effect on stress reactivity based on behavioral state.

Multi-sensory intervention for preterm infants improves sucking organization

ATVV infants exhibited improved sucking organization during hospitalization, suggestive that ATVV intervention improves oral feeding.

Influence of H-HOPE intervention for premature infants on growth, feeding progression and length of stay during initial hospitalization.

For healthy preterm infants, the H-HOPE intervention appears to improve weight gain and length over time from birth to hospital discharge.

Multisensory intervention improves physical growth and illness rates in Korean orphaned newborn infants.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a multisensory intervention on the physical growth and health of Korean orphaned infants. Fifty-eight full-term infants were randomly assigned to a control (n = 28) or an experimental (n = 30) group within 14 days postbirth.

Effect of auditory, tactile, visual, and vestibular intervention on length of stay, alertness, and feeding progression in preterm infants.

This study determined whether an auditory, tactile, visual, and vestibular intervention (ATVV) reduced the length of hospitalization of 37 preterm infants by increasing the proportion of alert behavioral states, thereby improving their feeding progression. Participants comprised 12 infants born between 23 and 26 weeks’ gestation with normal head ultrasounds and 25 CNS-injured infants born between 23 and 31 weeks’ gestation. Infants were randomly assigned to the control group (11 males, five females) or study group (seven males, 14 females) at 32 weeks’ postconceptional age.

One-Year Outcome of Auditory-Tactile-Visual-Vestibular Intervention in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: Effects of Severe Prematurity and Central Nervous System Injury

Thirty-seven infants with severe central nervous system injury or extreme prematurity were randomly assigned to a multisensory (auditory-tactile-visual-vestibular) intervention or control group. Intervention began in the hospital at 33 weeks’ postconceptional age and continued twice daily in the home until 2 months’ corrected age. Mother-infant interactions during feedings were videotaped, and the Bayley Scales of Infant Development were administered. Control mothers stimulated their infants more during feeding, but these significant differences dissipated by 4 months.

Providing a nurturing environment for infants in adverse situations: multisensory strategies for newborn care.

Giving birth in dangerous settings, such as natural disasters and war, can have long-lasting consequences on infant growth and development. It is during birth and the neonatal period that mother and baby are particularly vulnerable to environmental stressors. This article explores the neurohormonal aspects of stress and social bonding and offers strategies aimed at reducing maternal and infant stress and improving the mother-infant relationship. Low-tech interventions, such as massage, Kangaroo Mother Care, and multisensory intervention (maternal voice, massage, eye-to-eye contact, and rocking) are described for their use in adverse environments.

Responses of preterm infants to unimodal and multimodal sensory intervention.

Tactile stimulation alone may be too arousing for these infants while the addition of vestibular stimulation may modulate arousal and facilitate optimal arousal prior to feeding.

Auditory brain development in premature infants: The importance of early experience.

Preterm infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) often close their eyes in response to bright lights, but they cannot close their ears in response to loud sounds. The sudden transition from the womb to the overly noisy world of the NICU increases the vulnerability of these high-risk newborns.

The Impact Of A Sensory Developmental Care Programme For Very Low Birth Weight Preterm Infants In The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The results of this study signify that the infants in the intervention group benefited from the Sensory Developmental Care Programme concerning their sensory functions up to the age of 18 months (corrected age).

Effects of Prematurity on the Development of Contrast Sensitivity: Testing the Visual Experience Hypothesis

In order to investigate the effects of visual experience on early visual development, the current study compared contrast sensitivity across infants born with different levels of moderate-to-late prematurity.