Baby development: Skin and touch


Baby milestones pass by so quickly. Find out about how the sense of touch develops and what role you play in your little one’s sensual development.

Baby milestones: The different stages of development

All babies develop at different paces, but it’s useful to know the rough child development stages.

Baby milestones are very special moments

Your baby’s ‘firsts’ are wonderful moments that you’ll remember forever. Whether it’s their first steps or the first laugh, these special times are there to enjoy.

However, it’s important not to focus too much on specific development milestones and to remember that every baby is different. If your little one takes slightly longer to reach one development stage, it may be because they are focusing their energies on a different sense.

The sense of touch will start to be explored immediately from birth and is an essential part of your little one’s learning development.

When can babies see?

Vision develops gradually over the first year. At birth a baby’s sight will be blurry and may take up to the end of the first month to focus on close-up objects and make eye contact. By eight months old, vision will be clearer and your little one will be able to see things further away.
The key child development stages: Skin and touch
1-3 months old. At this very young stage, your little darling will start to work out how to grip objects in their hands. You may even find they try to grab objects dangling in front of them, but probably won’t be able to coordinate well enough to snatch them yet.
The key child development stages: Skin and touch
4-6 months old. Now your baby will be starting to master the use of their hands. You’ll find your little one will enjoy grabbing and pulling on anything in front of them – so watch out for necklaces and your hair!
The key child development stages: Skin and touch
7-9 months old. At this stage movement really begins. Your baby may have started to crawl or drag themselves around on their tummy. The friction can be rough on their delicate skin so make sure you’re keeping it cared for using a good cream like NIVEA Baby Moisturising Lotion.
The key child development stages: Skin and touch
10-12 months old. A lot of changes happen in the final development stage of the first year. Your little one will learn to grip objects between their thumb and forefinger, move around the room by using furniture to support them and maybe even take their first proper steps.
The key child development stages: Skin and touch
1 year old +. After your child’s first year, she or he will start to develop skills like eating and drinking by themselves, pushing and pulling toys and bending over to pick things up. 

How can I help my baby’s development?

Parents play a big role in the development of their children. Find out what you can do to encourage your baby’s sensual development.

Training baby’s senses

As your little one grows, they start to take in more and more of the world around them and their senses start to develop. By stimulating their sense of touch, you can give your baby’s physical and mental development a boost.

Often even everyday activities can stimulate the senses. When you’re changing your baby’s nappy, talk to them as you do it, describing what you’re doing. You may even want to give them some cotton wool or a baby wipe for them to get used to different textures.

Don’t forget to make the most of bath time too! It can be a great opportunity to teach your little one about different feelings against the skin, such as wet vs. dry, and warm vs. cold.

Try to give your baby interesting, but safe things to look at and touch while they lie in their cot or travel around in their pushchair. This is a great way to keep them occupied and constantly learning as they get used to how different things feel.

The importance of play time

Play time is when your baby will get an insight into different shapes, colours and textures, which will help them to learn about the world around them. Make sure to introduce interactive toys that roll around, pop out and make noises.

Baby massages are great for skin development

Physical contact with your baby is essential from an early age for bonding purposes and to care for their delicate skin. Try using NIVEA Baby Caring Oil to gently massage into your little one’s skin after bath time. This will lock in moisture, whilst gently cleansing the skin.

Top tips for promoting baby development

  • Keep talking to your little darling to help their communication develop
  • Let your little one touch and explore a variety of different surfaces to learn about their environment
  • Avoid TV and computers – human interaction is essential to give babies instant feedback
  • Take good care of baby’s skin to help it strengthen and develop. A baby-specific wash like NIVEA Baby Pure & Sensitive Wash Lotion is vital