Teaching with Toys: Benefits of Baby Rattles

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Baby rattles are immensely popular with new parents and as gifts, but are they really that useful? Today we answer this important question.

From an adult perspective baby rattles can seem a little bit simple. But they actually serve several important purposes that are invaluable to all parents.

To begin with, new-born babies often find it difficult to focus their eyes on moving objects or people. Rattles are excellent tools for training babies to focus on moving things, as their range of movement is relatively small and so will help a young baby to slowly develop this important cognitive skill.

An additional way that baby rattles benefit babies is by helping them to develop motor skills. What are motor skills? A motor skill is a essentially using a precise movement of muscles to perform a specific act. While lifting and holding on to an object is obviously easy for adults, this simple action takes a lot of motor skill development for babies to perform. Initially, babies will hold onto their rattles using their grasp reflex. But this simple item, which they will learn to treasure over time, will give them opportunities to practice and develop skills such as picking up, holding and releasing.

Most rattles make a noise that is designed to entertain and comfort babies. That being said, if your baby does not appear to be comforted by the noise of one particular kind of rattle, be sure to change it as not all babies enjoy the same sounds. However, in most cases, hearing the sound of the rattle will help babies to adjust to a new noise. This provides a further opportunity to enhance their attention span.   

Perhaps the most important use of a rattle is as a versatile teaching tool. Over time, your baby will become attached and intensely interested in the rattle as an object that is both comforting and entertaining. Therefore, parents wanting to train their can use the rattle as a gentle motivation for their baby, for example, by placing it just slightly out of reach it can be used to help the baby look or turn in a direction, learn to reach out for it, and eventually to roll and even move in a certain direction to get it. This can aid muscular development and improve your baby’s mobility. For further information, and some more links to scientific studies on the subject, maybe check this article out.

Clearly, baby rattles are great for comforting, stimulating, and teaching. Here at Little Blooms Baby Gifts, we have some excellent rattles for you to choose from, you can check them out here.