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Why Is My Baby Obsessed With Tags and Labels? (Unlocking the Science)

Why Is My Baby Obsessed With Tags and Labels? Babe in Dreamland

Did you just buy your baby the latest and greatest toy, only to find them completely uninterested in it? 

Instead, they’re fixated on the care and safety tags, or manufacturing labels. 

You’re not alone! 

Countless parents have experienced the same frustrating phenomenon. 

It seems that babies worldwide just can’t resist the allure of those little pieces of fabric. 

In fact, there’s even an entire market for toys and blankets adorned with multiple ribbons and tags. 

But what is it about these labels and tags that make them so captivating for our little ones? And why would they choose a label over a toy that you spent a small fortune on? 

Fear not, there’s a valid explanation for this unexpected behaviour!

So, let’s dive into the fascinating world of tag obsession and unlock the science behind it all.

Tags and labels provide a unique sensory experience that engages most of the baby’s senses. They offer attractive textures and colours, emit pleasant sounds, and engage the sense of taste for exploration through mouthing. This sensory input can be stimulating and enjoyable for babies, leading to their obsession with these small pieces of fabric. 

Stimulation of All Senses

Would you ever imagine that those little tags will provide a maximum sensory experience for a baby? 

Indeed, babies engage all of their senses when playing with tags and labels. Well… maybe with an exception for the smell 🙂 

At a young age, babies rely heavily on their senses to learn about the world around them!

Let’s explore how each sense is evoked by these little fabric pieces.


Let’s start with sight. Tags and labels attached to plush toys, baby clothes, etc., are like mini eye magnets. 

That’s because tags come in bright colours and bold designs that pop out and grab a baby’s attention. 

They stand out from everything else around and are more appealing to babies than the rest of the toy, which may be more muted in colour or design. 

And this includes the black and white manufacturing labels, or boring safety and care tags.

But what’s so visually appealing about them?

Well, these are again – high-contrast and attention-grabbing for babies! Even so, young babies can only see black or white, as their visual system is still underdeveloped. And their brains have no capacity to process more intricate colours and patterns. 

Therefore, high-contrast stuff like black text on a white background is literally like visual fireworks for their developing eyes. 

But not only this. The plain care tags are often less visually complex than the toy itself, which makes it easier for babies to focus on and understand what they see. So, babies may find it easier to explore and manipulate a simple label without getting overwhelmed by all the bells and whistles of a complex toy with different parts and features! 

What’s the science behind contrast cards for babies?


Okay, let’s move on to the sense of hearing. 

As you know, little humans are remarkably curious and always interested in new sounds. 

Furthermore, the rustles and crackles of tags being moved around by small hands might be incredibly attractive to babies who are still honing their hearing capabilities.

And this exposure to tags helps them advance their auditory processing skills, so they can process more hard sounds, like speech, for example.

On top of that, when the baby touches or moves the tag, it produces a sound, which can be a satisfying and rewarding experience for the baby. It teaches the baby a cause-and-effect relationship too!

In addition, the rustling of tags can be calming for babies and can assist them in managing their emotional reactions. 

Consequently, infants find this sound incredibly soothing, and it supplies them with a feeling of familiarity and security they commonly require.


Tags are a brilliant stimulator for your baby’s tactile senses. Because they are made of all sorts of fabrics. For example, satin – which is nice and slippery and shiny. Velvet – thick, smooth and soft, or cotton – a bit stiffer and rougher to the touch.

With all those different textures ranging from smooth to rough, it’s like a sensory buffet for those little fingers to explore. 

And they love feeling all of these different textures against the skin. 

Also, tags are small, so very easy to grasp and hold. 

Some babies can even put their fingers inside the loop – that’s so comforting! It gives them a similar effect as skin-to-skin contact or gentle massage. Again, it’s soothing and reassuring.

In other words, tags are like fidget toys that can help them regulate their emotions, calm down and, ultimately, help them to explore and develop their sense of touch.

Why Children Should Be Allowed to Fidget


Well, it’s not that tags taste anything special. But, you know, babies… Whatever they touch, it will ALWAYS end up in their little mouth….  

And that’s, again… totally normal.

And that’s because babies are born with a natural instinct called the “mouthing reflex,” which helps them to learn how to suck and swallow for feeding. 

And because of this reflex, babies will put literally any objects in their mouth that are within their reach to self-soothe and reduce stress or purely for exploratory and learning purposes.

A word of caution: if your baby tends to suck on tags, keep an eye out for them coming loose and detaching from clothing. This can potentially be a choking hazard. 

So, remove any loose tags or labels from items and always supervise your little one while they are playing with tags. 

Final Few Lines

As you can see, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with your baby’s fascination with tags and labels.

If anything, it is beneficial for their central nervous system development, as it engages most of their senses: sight, taste, touch and hearing. And it all forms the foundation of a baby’s learning and perception. 

And we all want our little bundles to thrive and grow healthy, aren’t we?

So, don’t cut off the tags or hide them from your baby.

Let your bubba enjoy them as much as they want to!

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