(Last updated on: 15/06/2021)
When I first had baby Isla, all of the other mums were telling me that I must take her to Baby Sensory. ‘It’s so great for their development’, I was told. They were right – it was pretty good. But it wasn’t as good as travelling, not even close. Travelling is way better at stimulating babies’ senses than any Baby Sensory class!
What is Baby Sensory?
Source: Baby Sensory
Baby Sensory is a class for new mums (or dads, or other carers), designed to encourage creative play, massage, tummy time, movement, and music. They use a combination of original and traditional songs and rhymes to develop early speech and language skills. They also teach sensory signing activities to help mother and baby communicate from birth. Each Baby Sensory class has a theme whether it be playing in the snow, the jungle or under the sea.
Benefits of Baby Sensory Classes
According the Baby Sensory website these are the benefits of taking the class;
- Spend quality time with your baby
- Find out how amazing your baby is
- Experience the joy of seeing your baby achieve a new skill
- Learn something new every week
- Relax under a canopy of twinkling stars
- Enjoy our therapeutic light shows
- Share the magic of puppets and bubbles with your baby
- Delight in our beautiful music
- Feel more confident and happy as a parent
How Travelling Stimulates Babies’ Senses
I am by no means discouraging you from attending Baby Sensory classes. I did actually think they were very good and were indeed one of the best baby classes that I attended. The simple fact is, however, that there is only so much you can achieve with props in a small hall surrounded by the same babies and their parents each Friday at 10.45am! So, how does travelling stimulate babies’ senses?!
Spending Quality Time with Baby
When travelling you are often living in the pockets of people that you are travelling with. Ever fallen out with a friend on holiday or felt that you needed some space from your significant other?
Travelling often involves sleeping in the same room (or in my case the same bed as my baby girl… Co-sleeping is so much easier than lugging a cot around, and she feels safer that way when staying in places that she isn’t used to. But I digress!) Travelling often involves eating together when you might not usually, it involves sharing bathrooms when you might usually have your own, and it almost certainly involves extended periods of time in close personal space – flights, car journeys, etc.
Travelling forces you to spend quality time with your baby, far more than the one hour a week afforded to you in a Baby Sensory class.
Finding Out How Amazing Your Baby Is
To be honest, I am a bit disappointed that this point is even listed on the Baby Sensory website. I don’t think that any parent should need to attend a class, or to travel for that matter, to realise that their baby is amazing!
Experience the Joy of Seeing Your Baby Achieve a New Skill
This will happen regardless of Baby Sensory classes or travelling, as they are always developing. Your baby might surprise you on your travels though and learn some skills you hadn’t even realised you were teaching them! On our recent trip to Nepal Isla learnt to blow kisses, because the Nepalese people kept blowing her kisses! She also learnt to sniff after watching us smelling all of the lovely flowers.
Learn Something New Every Week
Travel is the best education. I have always thought this and I believe it even more so now that I can see the learning taking place with my daughter. Did you know that the optimum time to teach a child to speak a second language is before they are aged 3? Baby Isla is learning Spanish when we are not travelling at a Baby Lingual Class. She also learns a lot every time we travel Spain to visit her Grandad! She knew what a monkey was by the time she was six months from our hikes through the jungle in Costa Rica and she was an expert curry eater by the time we returned from Sri Lanka at 6 months. Travel teaches them a lot.
Relax Under a Canopy of Twinkling Stars
This is great, but it’s not a patch on the real thing. I really want to head back to Jordan at some point with Isla – Wadi Rum had some of the amazing starry nights I’ve have ever seen.
Enjoy Therapeutic Light Shows
There are some pretty cool twinkling lights, but you can also get such lights on a stroll through a busy city like Tokyo or New York. And not only will you get lights, but also different sounds, smells, tastes, and many other sensations along the way that will help to stimulate your baby.
Share the magic of puppets and bubbles with your baby
Yep, puppets and bubbles are cool. They can also come with you on your travels. Plus, there are soooo many amazing shows that you can take your little one to see that will be just as good, if not better than the puppet show at your local Baby Sensory class. Ours was a 2 minute Telly Tubby show…
Delight in our beautiful music
Baby Isla loves music – perhaps something to do with her dad being a music teacher? We take music with us for her to listen to, but she also learns Jamaican reggae, Brazilian samba or African drumming while we travel. This teaches her not only about different styles of music but also about different cultures.
Feel more confident and happy as a parent
Travelling tests us at the best of times and it can certainly be demanding when you have a crying baby to contend with too. But it brings so many intangible benefits. You might be nervous to hike into the Ugandan jungle with your little bundle of joy or head through the hectic traffic of Bangkok in the back of a tuk-tuk, but you will see the rewards at the end. I promise!
You only have 18 summers with your children so make not only the summers count, but the entire year.
Psssst! By the way, I have recently designed a flight log book to allow your kids to record all of the journeys! If you’re looking for a special way to record your children’s travel memories then head over to Amazon to take a look!