Touch – the development of the senses in Montessori pedagogy

30 May 2019

This is the first sense that develops in the fetus. The sense of touch is very important at birth because the baby is very responsive to it.
We all noticed that when you put your finger in the hollow of the baby’s hand, the grip reflex makes it squeeze immediately.

Touch has an important role in the emotional and relational life of the baby. For example, caresses, give him a feeling of well-being that is sometimes enough to calm his tears. The baby is very sensitive to the gestures.

His hands allow him to recognize his environment and this is the reason why it is advisable to always put the baby in the same room and in the same bed at least until six months, with fairly fixed objects in his visually close environment. If you lay your baby in different places, his hands, which are very helpful for him in recognizing where he is, don`t send him any known perceptions and he may feel lost and anxious.

During his first months of life, as he doesn`t know how to direct his hand or catch, the baby’s mouth is his way of exploring. His hands, his mouth and tongue are very sensitive and offer him information. e does not put only objects in his mouth but also his hands.

It will take a long time before he can catch an object. He will first start tending the arm to bring his hand to the object and often he can`t do it or does it only by chance. By 4/5 months, he holds out both hands to take an object and by 6/7 months, he can take an object by a hand.

As soon as he manages to catch with his hands, he discovers textures, different shapes sometimes with his hand, sometimes with his mouth. We can present him many rattles and install them an awakening mat with varied textures.

Remember to leave your baby in bed and barefoot as long as he will not catch cold or hurt himself, so that he can discover the different textures with his whole body and not only with his hands.
The massage is also beneficial for his well-being provided of course to respect the techniques and to listen to the signals emitted by the baby.