When you have a baby, you want to make sure to expose them to everything that benefits their bodies and minds.
There’s no shortage of items on the market that promise to help your baby in a myriad of ways, and it can be hard to distinguish between what is good, neutral, or dangerous.
Are sensory videos good for babies? While they are certainly not fundamental to development, sensory videos can be a good way to stimulate your baby’s senses. However, there are a few caveats. As with any tool you use with your child, it shouldn’t take the place of human interaction or become a crutch for you or your child.
Using sensory videos properly can provide visual stimulation, but they are not required for any child to thrive, and there are no documented benefits to using them.
Sensory Videos for Babies – What To Know
Sensory videos are popular, and they even target newborns as a possible audience. Here’s what you need to know about this recent trend.
What Are Sensory Videos for Babies?
Sensory videos for babies are designed to stimulate your child and are targeted to their needs at different stages of life.
The videos will contain images that help with eye movement and sounds that can calm or excite your child depending on the need.
Visual Stimulation for Babies
Babies can only see a short distance in front of them, and they are drawn to certain textures and colors over others for a period of time.
Using the right textures and colors, whether that means exposing them to mobiles with certain patterns or brightly colored textured toys, helps your child focus and may give them a learning boost. Sensory videos often attempt to replicate this.
You can also use books that expose your child to the visual stimulation they need, and you can start this as early as the newborn days.
Are Sensory Videos Safe for Babies?
Sensory videos are not considered unsafe, but there are some guidelines that should be followed. You should never leave your baby unattended in front of a sensory video for a variety of reasons.
Your child may become overstimulated or express needs such as hunger, dirty diaper, or just needing to be held, and you need to be present to pick up on those cues.
It’s also essential to monitor babies continuously even if you do have them occupied with something else.
Are Sensory Videos Bad for Babies?
Sensory videos are pretty neutral. However, they can absolutely be bad if you use sensory videos as a stand-in for human interaction.
While these videos are designed to meet a child’s needs, they are not better for a child than actual human interaction.
Making eye-to-eye contact with a loving person and hearing the voice of the mom helps a child develop sensory skills better than any video.
When To Start Baby Sensory Videos
There are baby sensory videos that target newborns; however, there are no documented studies that indicate this is beneficial to infant development.
Some parents use these videos during tummy time when they are trying to get their child to hold his head up and learn to build strength, but there are other objects you can use for this same purpose that do not involve screens.
How Long Should Babies Watch Sensory Videos?
The recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics is that all children under 18 months of age avoid screen time altogether. Children between the ages of two and five should only get one hour a day.
If you choose to introduce sensory videos earlier than recommended, keep the screen time low and occasional.
Best Baby Sensory Videos
Great for newborns, you can use the Hey Bear videos to show your baby black-and-white patterns that they can see in the early days of life.
You’ll find videos with black-and-white images and classical music playing in the background to stimulate your baby’s brain when you try CheriEbooks. The variety is great, and there are also printable resources you can use alongside the videos.
Use in moderation since the colors can be a bit much, but Baby Woof offers a video that will keep your child interested in following images across the screen. This can strengthen eye muscles.
Sensory Videos for Autism
Some people feel that sensory videos can be extremely helpful for kids with autism, especially if they are used to help calm a child who is on the verge of a meltdown. A few recommended choices are:
Sensory Videos for Toddlers
Recommended sensory videos for toddlers include:
Sensory Stimulation for Babies
There are plenty of ways to stimulate a child’s senses without using videos.
Why Are Sensory Activities Good for Babies?
Sensory activities help your baby develop skills they will need to continue to grow and develop. They also help your child with focus, and this will help them master other important skills.
When Should I Start Baby Sensory Activities?
You can start baby sensory activities at birth. Even interacting with your child technically counts. Your voice, face, touch, and scent all help stimulate your child.
Sensory Activities for Babies 0-6 Months
Sensory activities for young babies are easy to incorporate into daily life. They include:
- Exposure to mirrors
- Exposure to black and white mobiles
Sensory Activities for Infants 6-12 Months
As your child ages, the sensory activities you use can get more advanced and include:
- Playing with playdough
DIY Sensory Activities for Babies
A few easy sensory activities you can set up at home are:
- Scent jars
- Water play (always monitor)
- Texture boards
Is Visual Stimulation Good for Babies?
Visual stimulation is very good for babies, especially if you are trying to encourage your child to continue tummy time or some other task that is challenging. Appropriate visual stimulation can hold your child’s attention and help them focus.
Can You Stimulate a Baby Too Much?
Just like older children and adults, babies can absolutely get overstimulated. Too much sensory input can cause a child to cry or be fussy.
Decrease noise or visual interactions when your child is showing distress with a situation to help them feel calm.
Sensory videos are a tool you can use to provide visual stimulation for your child.
Just remember that these videos will never replace the benefits of human interaction and are not shown to have any benefits to infant development.
Kristy is the mother of four, including identical twins. With a background in education and research, she is constantly learning more about parenting and raising multiples. When she has spare time, she enjoys hiking into the woods with a great book to take a break.