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Cognitive Benefits of Rattles and Sound Toys for Babies

Kids love toys.  

Baby rattles might not look like anything special for an adult, but these infant toys spark an array of sensory experiences for a baby.  A rattle can amuse and engage your baby as well as aid in his or hers development.  The sounds babies make can also alert babies to noise. Even without looking, if they hear the sound of a rattle, you will eventually find babies turning their head towards the sound.  By integrating rattles into daily playtime with your baby, you can promote and strengthen your child’s motor abilities and help them reach cognitive milestones.

Alvin The Elephant Soft Rattle
Alvin The Elephant Soft Rattle

Rattles are definitely not just a source of entertainment for a baby to play with. They can help to teach babies many new skills. Here are just a few that benefit a baby's development:

1. Hand-Eye Coordination

Hand-eye coordination is essential to an infant’s eventual ability to grasp and hold objects. It is a skill that children continue to develop throughout as they learn to feed and dress themselves, write and walking. This skill begins with your infant’s ability to recognize, perceive, track and watch movement. During the first few months of your baby's life, you can aid in the development of this skill with practice exercises using a rattle. Slowly move the rattle across your child’s field of vision, encouraging them to track the rattle with their eyes.

2. Perception
Babies need opportunities to perceive sights, sounds, tastes, smells and textures to develop their abilities to make sense of the world around them and rattles can aid in this development. During the first three months of your baby's life, you can shake a rattle to help him or her experience and perceive sound.

Meiya The Mouse Soft Rattle Meiya The Mouse Soft Rattle

3. Cause and Effect

Sensory motor skills involve receiving sensory messages and producing a response. We receive sensory information from our bodies and the environment through our sensory systems, which include vision, hearing and touch. Then, we must organize the information and process it in order to respond. Baby rattles are useful tools for fostering sensory processing and motor output. Around 4 months old, your infant will discover the concept of cause and effect. This usually happens by accident as she shakes her rattle and discovers that it makes an interesting sound. At this age, the memory is increasing so babies will remember the cause and effect reaction. During this time you will notice your child will start to bang toys and rattles - this is normal and is  just a way of experimenting with the effects around them.

4. Object Permanence

Object permanence, another cognitive concept, is a baby’s ability to realize that when something is out of view, it doesn’t cease to exist. Encourage your child’s understanding of this concept with a baby rattle and a blanket. Sit with your infant and place the rattle on the floor in front of you. Playfully hide the rattle under the blanket and after a few seconds, lift the blanket up to reveal the rattle beneath it.

5. Imitation
When your baby is nearing their first birthday, you will notice that they will begin to imitate you and the way you use certain objects. Instead of simply shaking or chewing on the rattle, they may begin to hold it to their ear pretending it is a phone. At this age, look for rattles that resemble real life objects like phones, keys and other every day things to encourage this developmental stage. 

6. Teething

When babies start to teeth, they attempt to place all things in their mouth. They will start chewing blankies, fingers and edges of baby books. Researchers found an easy solution for babies chewing habits at this stage of teeth development by using teething toys. Appropriate teethers such as Meiya and Alvin collection feel silky and soothing for baby’s mouth to chew on, not to mention  safe compare to other objects. It is important to make sure your teether is free of BPA, phthalates, heavy metals or cadmium and other harmful chemicals. When a little pressure is applied on the baby’s tender gums they will feel better, with the teether designed to feel a real comfort by chewing it all day.

Alvin The Elephant Rubber Toy Alvin The Elephant Rubber Toy

Source: TheBump.com

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