Did you know that the first sense your baby develops is touch? Even in the womb, your baby is starting to experience the world by what they feel around them. That means lots of bathroom breaks when your baby starts dancing on your bladder! The idea of positive touch is something you can maintain throughout your baby’s life and with it, you will support your baby’s cognitive development.
As a newborn, your baby needs to know that they can trust you. By holding, comforting, and soothing your baby, you are using touch to build a foundation of security. If a baby feels safe and secure, they feel capable of trying new things. This leads them to problem-solve, self-regulate, and make healthy choices, all the while knowing that no matter what happens, they will be cared for. As your baby grows, your cuddles, high fives, hugs, and back rubs will continue to reinforce that he/she has a real-life superhero in their life to keep them safe- you.
During your baby’s first year of life, be intentional about introducing new textures that are safe to play with. If your baby is struggling with tummy time, put a baking sheet with some water in front of him while he is on his tummy and let him splash around a little, letting him know that what he is feeling is “wet”. These sensory experiences will not only help his cognitive development and his sense of curiosity, but they will also help develop his language and sensory skills.
As your baby begins to walk and talk, touch is still just as vital. Appropriate touch for toddlers looks like hugs, cuddle time, back rubs, and lots of encouraging high fives and pats on the back. By incorporating positive touch into your daily lifestyle, you will be helping your child develop socially, emotionally, and intellectually.
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