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Baby-Toddler Time

Touch

Not too long ago, contracts and business transactions were sealed with a handshake. When I was a little girl, my granddad sat on his front porch with a lender and secured a loan to build a church on the lot next door. Without a paper to sign and without a witness except that of a 3-year-old, the loan was sealed – not with pen and ink  but with a promise and a simple handshake. From that moment on, I was impressed  with the power of a hand extended, the power of touch, the power of COMMITMENT.

Remember the first time you stroked your newborn’s hand and felt your baby’s tiny fingers curl around yours? From that wonderful moment on, your baby was learning about the world through the power of touch. In newborns, early grasping is purely a reflex, but within three or four months, infants purposefully reach out and grasp a toy. You can help by providing “touch-me” playthings. Soft, textured fabric toys and soft, floating tub toys (like a rubber ducky) are great choices for the early months. Later, add other textured surfaces and tactile substances – water, sand foam shapes, clay, cotton, etc. As toddlers perfect their grip they’ll enjoy busy boxes, nesting toys, interlocking plastic rings, simple pop-up toys and plastic blocks with containers to put them in. Plan to play with your baby. your COMMITMENT of time and energy will encourage exploration.