From the day he is born, a baby wants to touch. When your infant grips your finger, it is one of the most wonderful experiences. As soon as a baby develops strength and starts to move around, everything within reach is up for grabs and he is desperate to explore the world around him. You might not want your baby touching your television screen or ornaments, but he's not old enough to understand that this could hurt him, irritate others or break things. Instead of discouraging your baby from touching, focus on creating a safe environment for him to explore and learn how things work.
Things You'll Need
- Plug socket covers
- Cupboard latches
Baby-proof your home. View every room from your baby's perspective. Sit on the floor and crawl around to spot any potential hazards. Place covers on plug sockets, attach latches to cupboard doors and move all electrical cables far away from your baby's reach. Never leave any pills or small objects lying around, because your baby could be tempted to put them into his mouth. Move as many dangerous or fragile items as is possible to a level above your baby's reach.
Use warning words over and over again to teach your baby not to touch dangerous items, suggests BBC Health. You could say, "Hot, burn," whenever he reaches towards the oven, a cup of tea or a radiator. Say, "Sharp, sore," if he shows a desire to touch a knife or another sharp object. When saying these words, make sure your expression is serious so your baby knows you're not playing a game or joking. These warning messages should sink in if used repeatedly. Offer him a safer alternative, such as a bright plastic cup with a handle instead of your mug or a wooden spoon instead of a sharp utensil. Set a good example while your baby is still very young.
Remember that it's natural for your infant to want to explore the objects around him. Getting angry with him will make him upset and confused. His curiosity is a healthy, natural part of his development. Touch an object with your child and explain to him what it is, how it feels and what it does, suggests Missy Millis, M.Ed. on The Natural Child Project website. Encouraging him to explore his environment safely will help him grow and learn and give you the peace of mind that he will not come to any harm.
- Photo Credit Rayes/Lifesize/Getty Images