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The Magic of Touch

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Touch plays a monumental role in your baby’s development. The skin-to-skin contact you have with your precious infant is one of the best ways for them to bond with you (and for you to bond with them); and their process of self-discovery is largely done through touch as they run their hands over their bodies.

As they grow, your baby will do a lot of their learning through touch. They won’t be able to articulate it any meaningful way (yet), but they’ll feel the difference between soft and hard, smooth and rough, wet and dry etc…

As a parent, part of your job is exposing your baby to as many different textures and states as you can, and one of the best ways to do this is with multi-textured toys. As your little one explores them with their hands, they’ll start to understand the differences, and will even begin to gravitate toward the ones they like and shy away from the ones they don’t. If, for example, you find they don’t like touching anything scaly, don’t force them. They’ll come back to it on their own eventually. At the same time, if you find they’re drawn to a particular texture, consider buying more toys with a similar feel.

Textured toys can come in many forms. There are toys babies can hold on to like stuffed animals, balls and cubes; board and fabric books they can flip through (which will help with their manual dexterity ); play mats you can lay your baby down to let them run their hands over ; and danglers they can reach up for to feel, which will also help them develop their gross motor skills.

A few things to keep in mind when looking for textured toys are size, weight and age-appropriateness. You want your baby to be able explore independently, and anything that’s too heavy or large will frustrate them and force them to lose interest. Most toys will display their age range prominently on the packaging.

And because babies tend to put all their toys in their mouths, adding a quick wipe-down at the end of the day is a good idea.

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