When Do Babies Shake Rattles?

Wooden baby rattles are some of the most popular baby toys. They are specifically made to amuse a newborn child and they have served this purpose since ancient times. Archaeologists uncovered a baby rattle made out of clay in Poland which is believed to have come from the early Lusatian culture of the Iron Age. It is also believed that the Greco-Romans use baby rattles to entertain babies based on recovered artefacts from several archaeological sites.

Rattles are more than just toys

Rattles are more than just toys. Many child experts suggest that playing with baby rattles helps an infant’s early development, particularly hand-eye coordination. When you hold a rattle and shake it to make a sound, your baby will look at the rattle with her eyes. If you shake the rattle, most likely your baby will follow the movement from which she will learn visual tracking to watch a moving object.

You can buy a baby rattle even if your child has not yet developed the ability to grasp things. You can use it to get her attention when she’s fuzzy or during feeding time. Auditory stimulation is important and the sounds a rattle makes are great for stimulating your child’s sense of hearing.

When is the right time to introduce a baby rattle?

The perfect time to introduce a baby rattle to your child is when she’s starting to take a swipe off of toys or when she already knows how to grasp or hold. This developmental milestone normally happens at age 3-4 months but could be later for other newborns. Around the same age, your baby learns how to reach for an object with her fingers.

You can also use the rattle during tummy time. Tummy time is one of the first exercises and is essential to a child’s physical development. Once he starts learning how to use his legs and arms to crawl, you can shake the rattle and allow your child to find the rattle. Another good thing to do during tummy time is to hold and shake the rattle and describe to your baby the sound it makes.

If money is not an issue, you can buy different kinds of rattles. You can buy a plastic rattle, wooden rattle and a cloth rattle. Each of these rattles have different textures which makes them great for tactile stimulation.

Initially, your baby will just hold on to the rattle. As she develops her fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, she will start shaking the rattle on her own. Most babies are prone to putting objects into their mouths so make sure that the rattle is in good condition and no detachable parts that could be potential hazards when letting your baby play with a rattle. Most babies explore with their hands and mouth so you do not want any loose parts from your rattle to end up in your baby’s mouth. Some rattles have soft surfaces that can double as a teether.


Next Up: Choosing the Best Rattle for Your Baby

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