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Your baby’s sense of touch is highly developed at birth. He'll use it to learn about the texture and shape of things. Until he's about seven months old, his fingers and hands aren’t enough to help him do this, so he'll use his mouth as well.
You can also use your baby’s sense of touch to soothe and reassure him. Holding your newborn skin-to-skin, or just gently stroking him, can calm and soothe him. In fact, touch can make both you and your baby feel happier and more relaxed and help the bonding process. These gentle and loving moments release the hormone oxytocin. Also known as the "love hormone," oxytocin can encourage or reinforce the feeling of closeness that comes with bonding.
Baby massage can help build this connection between you both. As well as touch, massage uses many of your baby's senses. He'll see your face, hear your voice and smell your scent. All of these lovely sensory experiences will help you and your baby build your special bond.
As your baby's vision improves, he will begin to develop hand-eye coordination. Now he can use his hands, and his sense of touch, to explore, play and learn. As your little one grows and learns to talk, sensory experiences, like discovering what things feel like, will help him build his vocabulary. Words like smooth, rough, slimy or soft are almost impossible for him to understand without experiencing them for himself.