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As parents, we love to see our babies achieve different milestones. When they are little, the sense that helps them learn the most is touch!
Right from the outset, babies explore the new world through the sense of touch. You might have noticed that your baby puts everything in his mouth or touches everything he sees. Babies have the sense of touch and feel even before their birth. The skin has receptors which provide stimulus to the brain, hence the baby is able to perceive the world through touch.
Here are some ways in which babies use touch to explore their new world.
1. Hug, Kiss and Love
Babies pull your hair, touch your face and try to feel things around them. The sense of touch begins from the womb itself, where babies touch the lining of the womb and pull the umbilical cord. They continue to have the same sense of touch and feel even after their birth. Babies hug, kiss and touch affectionately to feel their loved ones. A sense of love and bond develops between you and your baby through skin to skin contact.
2. Touch and Hold Objects
At about 3 months of age, you baby will demonstrate the grasp reflex. You will notice your baby holding and dropping objects and toys. If you offer your fingers, your baby will grasp your finger or gently touch your palm. This reflex of grasping will help evolve her understanding of objects and teach her how to hold them in the future.
3. Putting Things in the Mouth
The period of 3 to 6 months can be the most troublesome age for parents. You may be worried or startled at the fact that your child attempts to put everything in his mouth. Although your baby’s curiosity can be frustrating at times, don’t be too concerned as it’s natural for babies to explore by touching and putting things in the mouth. Try offering teethers with different textures, so that your baby can develop the sense of chewing too.
How Touching Helps Your Baby Grow
Though it can be a struggle to keep up with your highly energetic baby, do not stop your babies from touching and exploring. Touching helps your baby develop in the following ways:
1. Physical Growth
Touching and exploring is very important for physical growth. It helps develop and improve coordination in muscles to crawl, grasp, walk and run. They also learn eye-hand coordination when they hold objects.
2. Intellectual Growth
A baby’s interest to touch and hold objects sends signals to the brain to perceive these objects through colours, taste and smell. This helps in his overall brain development to identify and differentiate objects.
3. Social and Emotional Growth
When you baby explores through touch and feels you as her parent, she grows secure with the sense of touch and bonding she perceives. Touch helps in building a stronger social relationship with your baby.
The best way to help your child explore the world is by fuelling his or her curiosity. As long as you maintain boundaries that keep your baby safe from harm, touching and exploring can be a fun filled experience for you and your baby. Play along with your child and see the world through your little one’s eyes!