The Vestibular System

Vestibular System (Body and Movement)
Feeds the body information about its sense of movement at any one time.  The vestibular system is the first system to develop starting within the womb.  It is located in the inner ear.  The vestibular system teaches the body about the feel of gravity, orientation, movement and balance.  The vestibular system is important as it contributes towards the awareness of self-movement, spatial awareness and sensory processing.  Backward head motions stimulate the vestibular hair fibers and excite neurotransmitters which opens up potassium channels and increases vestibular activity.   Credit: vestibular.org

Activities that stimulate the vestibular system include rolling, bouncing, jumping, rocking, swaying.  This is partly the reason tummy time is so important as a baby in this position has to learn to LIFT and RAISE its head – in doing so introduces a rocking motion to the child’s head.

Tummy time also strengthens the baby’s trunk, neck and shoulder girdle – which are all crucially important.  Tummy time is also the position in which children will most often learn how to roll over – again another vital movement as the body learns how to move through space through twisting.

Tip: If your child does not tolerate ‘Tummy Time’ you can simulate a lot of these positions in the way you hold your child throughout the day.
Shift the positions you hold them during the day.

< Picture> Aeroplane <Picture> Tucked under your arm <Picture> Or use a rolled up towel to help get used to laying on their side.

How our Senses work together                                                                 Proprioception

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