Stimulating your baby's senses: Touch

Stimulating your baby's senses: Touch

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  • It's through touch that you first communicate, interact, and bond with your baby. Discover 10 activities and experiences that can help your new son or daughter engage with you and the world by stimulating the sense of touch.

  • Bonding with your baby

    Cuddling and skin-to-skin contact help you bond with your baby. Not all parents feel deeply connected from day one with their child – bonding is an ongoing process that happens over time. And touching and being touched is one important aspect of your baby's special connection with you.

  • The grasping reflex

    If you stroke the palm of your newborn's hand, he'll respond to your touch by curling his tiny fingers around your finger – often with a startlingly powerful grip. This instinctive grasping reflex response lasts for about the first eight weeks of life.

  • Comforting contact

    Most babies find it reassuring and calming to be held, caressed, stroked, rocked, and carried. Some babies are less cuddly than others, but they all benefit from being close to you and sensing the familiar warmth, smell, sound and feel of your body.

  • Baby massage

    Your loving touch is often just the soothing ticket for a fussy, colicky, or wakeful baby. Massage is a great way to provide it – and a sweet way to bond with your baby.

    It's easy to massage a baby. See our baby massage slideshow for a quick lesson.

  • Toys in hand

    At age 2 to 3 months, your baby won't be able to pick things up for herself, but she will enjoy having things placed in her hand. She'll be able to notice the difference between hard and soft items.

  • Mouthy babes

    Long before babies have the coordination to stroke, poke, or prod an object with their fingers, they can use their mouth and tongue to explore it. The mouth has more nerve endings per square inch than any other part of the body, so it makes an excellent tool for discovery through touch!

    Allowing your little one to chew and suck on baby-safe objects gives him a chance to touch and learn about different shapes and textures.

  • Bath time

    Baby skin is very sensitive, and a warm bath offers interesting sensations to every bit of it. The touch of water can have a stimulating effect on some babies, who get very excited splashing in the water. But if a bath relaxes your baby, it may be a must-have for your family's bedtime routine.

  • Hands-on food

    When you introduce solid food, it's normal and natural for your baby to handle and play with his food. Expect meals to be messy. Your baby is using his sense of touch to get familiar with food and the new experience of eating – a huge milestone!

  • Touching textures

    You can stimulate your baby’s sense of touch with different textures – smooth and rough, hard and soft. Some baby books (like the classic interactive book Pat the Bunny) incorporate textures that you can introduce at story time.

    You can also let your baby feel textures that you find around you at home: fabrics (velvet, corduroy, silk, wool), newspaper, cardboard, the cushions on your couch – the possibilities are endless. Name the textures as you introduce them to your baby and it becomes a vocabulary booster and a chance for "conversation" with your tiny one.

  • Feeling shapes

    As your baby’s spatial awareness develops, together with her sense of touch, she can tell the difference between round and flat objects. She’ll enjoy touching objects with different parts that can be grabbed, twisted, or pulled.

  • Sand, clay, and water play

    Once your baby's old enough, you can introduce play with sand, clay, and water. He'll love digging his fingers into the different elements to feel the various textures and how they respond to his touch.

  • Watch the video: Sensory Cards for Babies u0026 Toddlers: Brain Development (July 2022).


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