Interoception Questions with Kelly-Episode 2: Interoception & Early Intervention

In this episode, we talk about interoception and early intervention. We want to answer the question, “What can we do with interoception and the really young?” The really young range from birth to around three years old.

What we know about interoception is that it’s a sense that allows us to feel the condition of our bodies. Our body signals, like a racing heart or feeling a chill, are clues to our emotional experience. Over time as a child grows, interoception becomes the platform for developing self-regulation.

We know that interoception is pivotal to emotional well-being and mental health, and that mental health conditions are often found to have interoception-based challenges. While there hasn’t been enough research yet for conclusive evidence, it stands to reason that starting with interoception awareness really young can perhaps lead to the promotion of more positive mental health.

Find Interoception Resources

When Do We Begin to Interpret Interoceptive Senses?

Babies are born with interoceptive senses at play right away. They don’t cognitively understand that what they feel is cold, hungry, or scared, but they immediately notice uncomfortable signals in their bodies. These signals urge them to act; it motivates them to cry and get their caregiver’s attention. If the caregiver is present, they can co-regulate the child, help the child feel regulated, and help ease the discomfort.

It’s important from early on to establish habits to help kids become more in tune with their bodies. We live in a society that offers very little downtime, and our attention is frequently pulled outside our bodies. So how do we help children become more aware of their own bodies?

Tip Number 1: Caregiver Education

Most caregivers are unfamiliar with the word interoception and have no idea what it means. So, educating caregivers about this important sense is crucial.

  • What does interoception help us do?
  • What is the influence of interoception?
  • How does it affect things like toileting, healthy eating habits, and the eventual ability to regulate emotions?

Good caregiver education is pivotal in interoception and early intervention. We offer free resources on our website, including videos and printables that are useful for caregivers to learn more about interoception strategies.

Tip Number 2: Interoception Talk

When it comes to interoception and early learners, interoception talk is crucial. It is key to teach caregivers how to have the interoception talk, label how their body feels during daily activities, and encourage the child to do the same as they age. Not only will this enhance the child’s interoception, but it will also increase the caregiver’s interoception. When they are labeling what their body is feeling, they are naturally becoming more in touch with their body more frequently, which can be very helpful.

The printables section of our website offers a free handout that can help caregivers embed interoception talk more easily into daily activities.

This video also references a course for further learning on interoception and early intervention that was in process at the time of filming. That course is now available for anyone interested in this subject and would like to learn more.

Check Out Our Interoception and Early Learner Course!