Advice Column, Education, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby, Toddler

Infant Stimulation – What is the big deal?

When it comes to stimulation in babies, there seems to be two camps: On the one side we have people who don’t see the need for it and say, “What can a baby do in anyway? They are still so tiny and dependant” or “There is no need to stimulate and teach children before the age of 3.” And then we have the other side, who mostly work with children, who say that it is extremely important to stimulate and teach a child form as early as possible. Starting with baby massage.” So what does the research show?

Research indicates that children learn best in an environment which allows them to explore, discover and play. It is also closely tied to the development of cognitive, socio-emotional and physical behaviours. The problem, especially for first time parents, is that the amount of information and research is overwhelming and parents often don’t know where to begin. Add time constraints to this and parents find themselves spending more time researching what to do to aid in their child’s development, than actually playing and bonding with their children.


Why is stimulation little babies so important? 

Recent brain research has found that an infant’s environment dramatically affects brain-building and healthy development. This early stage of brain development results in how and how well one thinks and learns both as children and as adults. You might have heard the expression that children have sponges for brains as they soak everything in. This is because of a biological need and desire to learn. During the first years of a baby’s life, the brain is building the wiring system. Stimulation and activity in the brain creates these connections called synapses. The amount of stimulation received directly affects how many synapses are formed and so repetitive and consistent stimulation strengthens these connections and makes them permanent. Researchers have discovered that the foundational networking of a brain’s synapses is nearly complete by 3 years of age. This shows us that we as parents and caregivers have an important job to assist in building the brain especially in the first 3 years of a child’s life.

The SkidZ program focuses on one-on-one stimulation. Infants have a natural and definite preference for the human face, voice, touch and smell, above everything else and so an infant’s best toy is you, the parent or caregiver. Children learn through play and we encourage them to explore and discover, using you as their caregiver and items provided in the SkidZ Clever Activity Boxes. We as parents easily fall into the trap of constantly buying new toys, which they get bored of quickly, when research clearly shows that toys are not their first preference. Playing with a caregiver is. This starts as early as birth with baby massage.

SkidZ provides you as a parent or caregiver with an easy to follow manual, filled with age appropriate stimulating activities, to help develop your child’s brain and to aid in them reaching their developmental milestones. It has been developed by four experts in Early Childhood Development, making sure that all developmental milestones are covered. We have done all the work for you, covering what to do and why, and have provided you with the information, so that all your available time can be spent with your child. What do these babies do? Well, we start with baby massage which wakes up the brain and builds brain connections regarding body awareness. As they grow older we help strengthen core muscles and encourage exploration. And so the program covers all the basics such as gross and fine motor skills, auditory, speech, language and cognitive development etc. It even teaches children some independence.

What makes SkidZ so unique in its field is that it includes a daily curriculum, which gives you activities for each day of the week. It is easy enough for a nanny to follow, giving you as a parent the peace of mind that your child is getting the stimulation he/she needs, while you are at work. It also works in a 3 week cycle, so you and baby do not get bored by doing the same activities every Monday. The daily curriculum changes every 3 months but the age ranges are bundled together so that you do not need to buy a new box every 3 months. The age ranges are as follows: 0-6 months, 6-15 months, 15-24 months and 2-5 years, this all at a very reasonable cost.

My husband is probably the biggest fan of all. He is a very hands on and loving father, and would often take our son and let mommy sleep. He said that he was so thankful for the list of age appropriate activities as he didn’t have a clue what was appropriate and what 1our son would be capable of doing. It is much easier for dads when they can go outside and kick a ball or ride bikes. So when our son was happily awake and staring at daddy with his beautiful blue eyes, daddy would take out the SkidZ box, have a quick look at what to do and have lots of fun. He soon learnt that our little precious boy was capable of a lot more than he originally realised.

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