Ways to Stimulate Your Baby's Sense of Touch
An environment full of textures and shapes awaits your child. Stimulating your baby’s sense of touch will help him face the world around him, supported by a relationship that begins in pregnancy.
Attachment, that bond between mother and child that lasts a lifetime, grows from conception. But in the first weeks of life, it is strengthened through touches, hugs and caresses.
Ways to stimulate your baby’s sense of touch
Curiosity is a stage that every baby must go through. Stimulating your baby’s sense of touch is a way to contribute to his proper growth and development.
Caresses, massages and communication with your baby
Each caress forges an indestructible relationship that starts from the mother‘s womb and allows the baby to feel loved. In addition, it increases your baby’s defenses and develops his digestive system.
Stimulating your baby‘s sense of touch will help him to communicate his needs, to relate to other people and to explore his surroundings when experiencing sensations such as cold, heat, softness or hardness.
Practicing skin-to-skin contact by holding him, feeding him, bathing him or reassuring him helps, even to improve his oxygenation. Massaging him with your hands, using a cotton ball or a feather, will stimulate his sense of touch.
Going from the forehead to the nape of the neck, the back and the soles of his feet while you talk to him, sing to him or smile, will strengthen all his senses.
It’s good to read books to him that contain different textures. Pass his hands over smooth or rough or cold or warm surfaces. Talking about each sensation with words or gestures that make him laugh helps his integral development as a person.
Depending on how the baby perceives the contact with his skin, he will experience tenderness, joy or fear. Hugs, caresses and games increase his security in life.
Using cotton balls, building blocks or stuffed animals is a great way to stimulate your baby’s sense of touch. Clothing is too, because it provides different sensations depending on the material from which it was made. In the first months of life, encouraging your baby to touch his face, hair, mouth or ears through games is a source of stimulation and joy.
The little one’s skin and mouth
A baby’s skin is delicate. The mouth, cheeks, hands, soles of the feet, and abdomen are particularly sensitive. Taking advantage of them in skin-to-skin contact with you and your partner is fundamental for your baby’s development. He will feel comforted and will respond with expressions of affection.
The mouth allows him to discover and explore. With it, he will try to identify different textures and discover sensations. It also helps him to find the nipple when breastfeeding.
When a newborn opens his hands, he will hold the finger that touches his palm. Also, he responds to tickling and cuddling when you pick him up. As he grows, he will begin to reach for, lift and hold objects. His mouth, however, will remain the best way for him to discover and feel different textures.
Stimulating the baby’s sense of touch will help him communicate his needs, relate to other people and explore his environment
His relationship with the world around him
Splashing in the water or using toys with sounds will be part of the revelations he will discover as he passes through life. When a baby begins to crawl, he begins a period of further exploration through touch.
Little by little, his skill will make him prefer to use his hands rather than his mouth in order to discover and play.
Soft caresses and pats on the back are actions that babies enjoy through touch. They help reduce crying, improve sleep and facilitate breastfeeding. A perfect mechanism to stimulate your baby is to hold him, rock him and walk with him in your arms.
The sense of touch can be used to stimulate your baby in different ways. Playing with sand, mud and water with his hands will help to broaden his horizons. Then he will try to move objects from one hand to another. Play dough is another ideal ally for increasing his skills.
Solid foods will be another form of learning. Taking food and playing with it is a new way he can experiment, this time using his tongue. The small mess will be rewarded with everything that feeling will bring. It is about opening each window to a new stage in your life.
A baby’s sense of touch is the first to develop, just a few weeks after conception. This will be one of the baby’s best allies in the unforgettable and enriching experience of growing up.