If you just can’t resist snuggling and cuddling your baby at all times, we really don’t blame you! Their scent, smooth skin, and chubby cheeks are completely irresistible. But, aside from the physical attraction, did you know that there are more psychological and developmental reasons for you to cuddle your baby?
We’ve all had that annoying relative or friend who complains that we’re holding our baby too much, warning that too much holding will spoil our little cherub, or make them stuck to us like glue for all of eternity.
The good news is that 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.
Recently, a study has proven that cuddling your baby often and early 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.
When a child is overly sensitive, they tend to wear their heart on their sleeve. So sometimes the best way to calm that baby is by cuddling him or her. This shows the baby he or she doesn’t have to navigate their big feelings by themselves. This is also a great way to calm your baby from stress and anxiety.
This translates into their adult life. Studies have shown that babies that were affectionately touched often ended up less anxious as adults. And a cuddle as short as a hug found that when loves ones offer physical support to someone in distress, the person in distress and the loved one supporting them both experience a decrease in stress.
Cuddling your baby is great for showing security, also. Human brains are wired to seek safety, and if your baby doesn’t feel that sense of security, it won’t be able to learn. So snuggling your precious baby with love will help him or her feel confident enough to learn new things.
The greatest takeaway here is skin to skin contact with your baby is great no matter why. It’s good for both you and your baby. In general, physical contact with a loved one in a time of anxiety or stress decreases the stress response in the body and brain, for both babies and adults. So snuggle your precious baby as much as you can, there is no such thing as loving them too much!