Vestibular System


We talk about the vestibular system in class every week but what exactly is it and why is it important to know about it as parents?

The vestibular system lives inside our heads and near the auditory apparatus.  It is is essential in all movement and is responsible for our system of balance.  It does more than that though.

Movement stimulates the vestibular system

Your child will have several “vestibular upgrades” in their life before they acquire a new skill.  When a baby is born, they can’t roll over.  They need a much more advanced system of balance to be able to do that.  Think about it, as the torso moves, and turns the body, the eyes have to adjust and refocus everything quickly or everything would be blurry.  The body needs to adjust where it sees itself in space or you would feel dizzy.  Such a simple thing, but behind the scenes a very complex system is co-ordinating movements, vision, muscle information and more to be able to achieve it.

Likewise your child will have another upgrade before they learn to crawl, to walk, to jump, to hop etc.  The sense of balance needs to be more advanced for each of those skills.

If you have a child that is constantly twirling, or rolling, or spinning, and you can’t stop them, chances are their vestibular system is upgrading and in about 6 weeks time, they will have a new skill.

So observe your child and if they are spinning and spinning for days, and driving you made, give them space to spin safely, or do some fun rolling activities, or hammocking in a blanket to assist the development of the vestibular system.

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