Have you heard about sensory bottles for infants? They’re a great way to entertain your baby and encourage them to explore. And the best part is that they’re 100% mess-free!
So today, we’re sharing everything you need to know about sensory bottles for infants. Including why they’re good for your baby’s development. Which are the best bottles to use. And how you can make a simple homemade bottle your baby will love.
Here are some of the things you need to know if this sensory play idea is completely new to you.
What Is a Sensory Bottle?
A sensory bottle is a clear plastic bottle filled with liquid. You can fill it with something as simple as water or rice. Or a mixture of water and more uncommon liquids like baby oil or clear glue. Some people also add in small objects too. Like buttons, pom-poms and sequins.
Sensory bottles for infants help kids take part in mess-free and safe sensory play. You may see others calling them discovery bottles or sensory tubes. But they’re all the same thing.
Why Are Sensory Bottles Good For Babies?
Sensory bottles are good for developing your baby’s senses. Especially their vision. There’s always something new for your baby to look at and they’ll use their eyes to follow the moving liquid.
Discovery bottles will benefit your baby’s development in the following ways:
- Learn about cause and effect. For example, what happens if I roll the bottle?
- Make connections in their brain
- Helps physical skills – reaching, pushing and holding the bottle
This fun and interesting homemade toy is also great to use with your baby during tummy time. It’ll distract them and help them to spend longer playing on their front. And the longer they spend on their front, they more they’ll strengthen important tummy, neck and back muscles, needed for crawling.
What Bottles Do You Use For Sensory Bottles?
There are so many different containers you can use to make DIY discovery bottles. If you’re planning to make them regularly, we’d recommend investing in strong plastic bottles. Or sensory tubes.
Check out these strong plastic bottles on Amazon (US | UK)
Or take a look at the sensory tubes on Amazon (US | UK)
If you’re trying this sensory play activity idea with your baby for the first time, try using an old water bottle first. Mini travel bottles also work well too.
Whichever bottle you decide to use, make sure it’s plastic and BPA free. It also needs to be see-through with a screw-on lid.
Now you know a bit more about sensory tubes, it’s time to make one!
How to Make Sensory Bottles For Infants
There are lots of fun sensory bottle recipes out there. Some are made with baby oil. Others with oil and water. But here’s a simple idea to help you make your first one.
You will need the following materials:
- A bottle
- Food colouring
First, wash out your bottle. Then fill ½ with water.
Tip: If you’re using an old water bottle, try soaking in hot soapy water for a few minutes. This will help you peel the label off easily.
Next, add a few drops of food colouring to the bottle. You can also add small objects like sequins, pom poms or buttons etc.
Now fill the rest of your bottle with water. Then screw on the lid as tight as you can.
You can use a hot glue gun to secure the lid even more. Or you can use duct tape.
Tip: Try laying the bottle on its side on a towel for a few hours. This will help you check for leaks!
Once you’ve created your sensory bottle, it’s time to play!
Baby Play Ideas
Your baby can play with their new sensory bottle whilst sitting on their own. Or they can use it during a tummy time session. Just place it close enough so that your baby can reach it.
You can also lay your baby on their back. Just make sure you’re the one holding the bottle. It’ll be too heavy for them to hold and they may drop it and hurt their face.
Encourage your little one to roll it. Or do this for your baby so they can watch the coloured water move around.
Try hiding the bottle behind your back for an easy game of peek a boo. Check to see if your baby is looking for it. This is known as object permanence.
Add it to your baby’s treasure basket. So they can explore it alongside other interesting objects.
Get older siblings involved and encourage them to play with their baby brother or sister too.
Sensory bottles for infants are a super quick and easy DIY toy you can make at home. They’re a great way to keep your baby busy and they’ll last for weeks!
This sensory play idea also works well with toddlers. They’ll find the bottle will fascinate them and they’ll find it calming. It’s also a good distraction when they start having tantrums. So try making one for your baby when they’re a few years older too!