why do babies slap things


Why Do Babies Slap Things?

Babies around the world, or even all ages, like to slap things. It has become a bit of a ubiquitous action, but why do they do it? Here, we explore the reasons why babies like to slap objects, and what it can mean for them further down the line.

Exploring Motor Skills

In the first instance, often babies slap objects as a way to explore their motor skills. It is a way of exercising their control over their movements and understanding the relationship between their body and the world around them. When babies slap something, they can sometimes reach out and feel the consequences in a way that is unavailable otherwise.

Studying the Object

Conversely, it could also be that a baby is simply studying the object, noticing how it feels different to what they expect. Interesting textures, sounds or responses that come from an object can teach a baby a lot, and slapping an object can be an effective way of understanding it better.

Testing their Reactions

Babies also often slap things as a means of testing their own reactions. Seeing as babies won’t immediately know the consequences of their actions, sometimes it can be an effective way of gauging a reaction without having to wait for it to present itself. Slapping something can sometimes offer babies an instant indication of what is happening.

Non-Verbal Communication

Finally, it could be that babies slap objects as a way of non-verbal communication. It’s a pretty effective way of showing emotion, as babies can slap an object to convey anger, sadness, excitement and more. This could be a great way for them to express themselves before language develops.


In conclusion, there are a number of reasons why babies slap objects. From exploring motor skills to non-verbal communication, it could be a variety of factors that present themselves. It could be beneficial for parents to take notice of why their baby is slapping something, as it could be a means to them expressing a need or emotion.