I guarantee that most parents have encountered relatives or friends who says we shouldn’t carry or hold our baby too much or for too long because they could get used to it which may result on making them glued to us every single time of the day.
“Wag mo buhatin, masasanay!” Wag mo patulugin sa dibdib mo! Ikaw din mahihirapan kapag nasanay yan, sige.” I have two kids and I have heard these lines (and more) since but it didn’t really matter to me. I looooove cuddling, hugging and kissing my kids! <3
Well, comments like that can definitely get under a parent’s skin, especially at the beginning, when you sort of don’t know what the heck you’re doing and you’re a hot mess of doubt, worry, and hormones. Then these people trying to tell you what to do like, OMG!
GOOD NEWS, my dear parentals! 😀 Study after study has proven that holding your baby is not harmful in the least, and is actually a vital part of caring for babies in the early days, with long-term impacts on health and development!
A study recently came out showing that early skin-to-skin contact leads to improved neurodevelopment, higher IQ, and lower rates of aggression. Skin-to-skin contact has also been shown to increase breastfeeding success, and can even make certain medical procedures less painful for infants. You may read more of this study here.
In relation to this, there was also a study published in Current Biology that sheds further light on the importance of skin-to-skin and physical contact between babies and their caregivers. Researchers from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio looked at 125 infants, both premature and full-term, observing and comparing how these babies responded to touch. The researchers found that overall, premature babies were more likely to have a reduced response to touch than their full-term counterparts. The preemies who had more exposure to painful medical procedures were also more likely to have a reduced response to touch. But preemies who were exposed to what the researchers call “gentle touch” had a stronger response than the preemies who did not receive this contact — and the researchers found that this kind of touch could have positive and long-lasting effects on these babies.
These findings add to our understanding that more exposure to these types of supportive touch can actually impact how the brain processes touch, a sense necessary for learning and social-emotional connections.
The first 2 months of having a baby is really toxic and frustrating for new moms! I thank God that in the morning, while I am having my time to sleep after a night of almost not sleeping at all, daddy Jaze is the one who takes our baby Ysha to the rooftop to get her much needed dose of daily sunlight. <3
He takes care of our newborn while he is in his office. Well, they sleep together, that is. 😀
Researchers were looking at specifically was “intentional supportive touch,” meaning that the touch had to be from caregivers who were touching the babies as an act of nurturing and not just diapers changes, feeding, or for other various medical procedures. This included direct skin-to-skin contact. Doctors say that intentional supportive touch is absolutely crucial to babies’ developing brains. For infants, touch is the one of the first senses that develops, before hearing or sight, therefore making it the “building block in early infancy of communication.”
Every touch counts! So you see, good hospitals even recommend NICU parents who can’t attend to their newborn to delegate some of that skin-to-skin and gentle touch time to trusted relatives and friends whenever possible.
So now, parents especially the new moms and dads out there, you can breathe a giant sigh of relief! Let’s go ahead and ignore everything we’ve ever heard about “spoiling” our baby with attention and cuddles. There is no freaking way that we’re holding our baby too much. No freaking way!
Now, now. Let us not misinterpret this. No one is saying that you can never put your baby down, or that your own needs should be pushed completely aside when you have a baby, alright? Even if parents intend to shower their babies with endless hugs and kisses, some just can’t. It’s not always possible for everyone. But please, don’t beat themselves up if you can’t.
When it comes to holding your baby, nothing is too little — except nothing at all. Parents should know that touch is absolutely critical for all babies, forming the basis for a lifetime of healthy development.
A lot of moms have been asking me to blog and share about how am I raising my daughter Ysha who seem to be really smart for her age (she is 2 years and 9 months old now). I guess this blog that’s been supported by researches is a good start- I have been hugging, touching and caressing her since her day 1 in this world. <3
Kudos to all the doctors and researchers for sharing this amazing studies with all of us! Thank you for assuring parents everywhere, parents like me who love to cuddle, that showering your baby with love and affection has zero negative consequences and is 100% beneficial.
Remember, every ounce of loving touch counts. So do whatever you can knowing that touch is the cornerstone of positive infant development. A gentle, soothing and relaxing touch- simply one of the most important things parents can do for their babies. So now, we can all probably politely tell our nosy tita or amiga that loving & cuddling our kids doesn’t necessarily mean we are spoiling them.