Cuddling your baby, especially during the early days, is an important part of how much you love about him/her. Imagine the soft touch of the skin of your infant. Doesn’t that just cause you to fall in love with the kid? Indeed, you will.
Research have shown that this impacts their growth and wellbeing in the long term. You could often have seen that the first thing the doctor does when a child is born is to encourage skin-to-skin contact between the mother and child.
On the other hand, there are people who might point out that you are spoiling your baby by holding your baby a lot, making them clinger. Don’t listen to them! Did you realize that cuddling your kid is not only nice for them but also good for you?
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A study was conducted in Washington, D.C. by the National Health System which found that cuddling your child reduces the stress level of mothers.
Touch is one of the first senses which we develop before of all other senses.
Supportive contact can have a positive effect that contributes to the baby’s sense of socio-emotional connection.
Kids who do not feel contact have been shown to have a relatively lower degree of oxytocin and vasopressin, these are two human hormones that play an important role in pain and social behaviour, for your information.
What Are The Benefits of cuddling your baby?
Anyone who has ever snuggled with newborns understands how fun it can be. Their baby’s delicious smell of powder and that soft baby skin is just a heavenly feel. Other than that, it turns out science has backed up baby cuddling.
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Some of the few benefits of why babies love cuddling are listed below, and why it is beneficial for them.
- Cuddling promotes bonding: The baby who has just emerged from a warm womb and entered an unfamiliar world has a new environment including sounds and lights. A touch-sense encourages other senses in their brains. This controls their respiration and heart rate, and drives their blood sugar to an appropriate amount. Cuddles make infections enhance the babies ‘ immune system as they are fully exposed to a new environment right after birth. Babies cry less, and immediately become calmer when held in a cuddle near the chest.
- Self-Soothing: Did you see babies showing extra affection for your soft fluffy pet? If your child’s love for a teddy or any other beloved soft toy is seen, then let it be because it will help them develop social skills. Babies are new to the world and having so many unfamiliar faces around them could feel uncertain all the time. Babies try to soothe themselves by cuddling their favorite toy while they’re asleep, because it feels familiar and gives them a sense of reassurance when they’re afraid. The warmth of that toy gives them comfort and protection that allows them to sleep better.
- Easier Breastfeeding: Skin-to-skin cuddle contact may be used to help overcome attach problems for women who have spent several weeks or months in their postpartum. This helps decrease tension in babies who tend to be reluctant to allow anyone to correct their lock. One of the big reasons why babies should be doing skin-to-skin for at least the first hour after birth is a cuddling or breastfeeding connection. Their baby friendly campaign is helping to raise awareness for breastfeeding.
- Regulates their bodies: Kangaroo care is another name of snuggling. Snuggling lets frail babies control their bodies soon after birth and maintain their body temperature. When the skin of an infant is warm, it reduces body temperature by up or 2 to 3 degrees. Whilst carrying them close, keeping them dry. Preemies who had a lot of physical contact with their carers had more sleep patterns sorted out than babies who didn’t have that luxury.
- Aids in neuro-development: Moms are advised to keep their kids tight in a cuddle during the first year to help reach a healthier weight and keep the child’s development on track. It tends to grow a higher IQ level and academic development in general. It’s also socially beneficial, as it reduces hyperactivity and aggression while reducing school absence. In the result, physical touch makes older kids feel safe and loved. So, go and hug your boy, and let him know you’re there! Their developmental process can work wonders.
- Sense Of Security: It’s wonderful if you often cuddle your baby, particularly after giving birth in the three months. Did you know that your child’s first three months in development was regarded as the “fourth trimester”? This is because of the dim, warm and comfortable position your child came from, that is, the womb. Cuddling helps replicate that surrounding womb. The baby should feel warm and safe. Cuddling helps develop a secure attachment to your infant. The bond developed later has effects in the life of your child in terms of self-confidence, healthy individualization and exploration, expression of empathy, social relationships and ability to cope with life stressors. Babies who don’t experience cuddling were found to have significantly lower oxytocin and vasopressin rates. It is thought that these two hormones play key roles in stress and social behaviours. Lower levels can clarify why these kids struggle to develop adult attachments.
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- Changes Their DNA: According to the study published in the Development and Psychopathology review, for years, cuddling your baby and kisses you give your kids have a permanent molecular effect. Snuggling your baby essentially alters their DNA positively. Scientists monitored 94 healthy, 5-week-old babies, telling parents to keep diaries of when the infants were fed, resting, nursing and weeping, as well as how much body contact there was during treatment. The children’s cheeks were swabbed four and a half years later, so scientists could test their DNA. The researchers found that the kids who were not cuddled, held less, and more distressed when they were babies, had a molecular profile in their cells that was underdeveloped for their age. There were significant variations in the methylation of DNA among the children who had been cuddled a lot and those who were not. At four and a half the kids who had fewer hugs and were more distressed in infancy had a “epigenetic age” lower than expected.
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Even as adults, sometimes we want to be hugged or cuddled. Cuddling your baby helps convey what you can’t say in words sometimes like giving a sense of security or telling someone you love them or sometimes a simple hug can lower your stress level and help you sleep better. Connecting with people, be it older or younger kids on a level as small as just a cuddle, can lead to happiness.