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by Jessica Ackerman

You Baby’s Developing Senses

Your baby’s sight develops as she/he perceives objects of differing color, shape, and size. Her/his sense of hearing is stimulated by listening to your voice and the music you play. 

The sense of touch is equally important as she/he adjusts to the world around her/him. 

She/he starts off by enjoying being cuddled against your warm body and feeling her skin against yours. 

As she/he grows older, your baby becomes more curious about the objects in his/her world as all her/his senses are rapidly developing.

baby in mothers arms

Tactile Stimulation

baby on play mat Infants about three to five months old are developing better hand-eye coordination. You may notice that your baby is attracted by things that move and reaches out to grasp them. Babies put everything into their mouth, which is how they learn, since there are more nerve endings in the mouth than any other body area of the same size. 

Giving your child more tactile stimulation will facilitate brain development and encourage him/her to explore his/her surroundings. 

You can create a tactile paradise for your baby by letting him/her play with toys and other everyday items that help him/her distinguish between different textures.

Monitor your baby’s play at all times and enjoy being part of her learning experience.

Ideas for a Tactile Paradise

Toys: There are plenty of toys out there made to stimulate a baby’s sense of touch. 

Teethers and textured toys that are safe to put in the mouth are ideal for babies when they start teething, around three or four months old. 

Other popular toys reward babies with music or flashing lights when they pull down on a ring or press a simple button. 

baby with rattle
baby playing on floor with toy When your baby can sit up independently, rolling toy cars and putting simple puzzles together encourage her to develop fine motor movement. 

Board books: When shopping for books for your baby, look out for those that have tactile learning included. 

Help your baby brush his/her fingers over the textured materials as you read and describe the sensations (bumpy, smooth, soft, rough, etc.). 

It will help him/her put words to the sensory experience and develop language skills.

baby on floor rug wrapped in blanket

Household items: An easy and affordable way to create a tactile paradise is to gather various items you have around the house and let your baby explore their different textures. 

Choose items that do not pose a choking hazard

For example, safe items to choose for play might include a smooth plastic mixing cup or wooden spoon, or let him/her crawl across a faux fur rug. Let your baby enjoy the feel of fabrics on your bed or furniture, like a silk comforter or chenille throw. 

Outdoors, a baby can enjoy the feel of grass between bare toes or run his/her fingers over a smooth cool river rock. 

Wherever you play with you baby and let him or her explore new things, always use an appropriate amount of caution and supervision so the child is not injured in any way. 

Safe and Sanitary Play

When giving your baby toys and other items to play with, ensure her safety by checking for small, loose parts that she may swallow or choke on. 

Avoid objects with sharp edges and watch what your baby puts into her mouth.

Keep your baby’s toys clean by washing them in soap and warm water, or a very mild bleach solution, especially if the toys are being shared among children or your baby has been sick.





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