If you’re that kind of parent who can’t keep their arms off their children, hugging them at every moment possible, then don’t stop – your kids will thank you for it one day.
According to new research, hugging, as a form of physical affection, during the developmental period of the baby, is more important than you could think. The affection in the form of touch that these babies get triggers their brains to grow, and thus become smarter.
The research done by Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio looked at 125 babies, born both preterm and full-term, and analyzed how light physical touch affects their brain development, as well as their perception, cognition, and social development.
They discovered that supportive experiences, such as breastfeeding, skin-to-skin care, affectionate hugs, and similar, triggered strong brain responses which allowed the brain to develop faster and more healthily.
On the opposite side, painful experiences, such as skin punctures and tube insertions, inhibited the brain responses to the same touch stimuli.
In other words, being gentle and loving to your baby is not only the humane and natural thing to do, but it also contributes to the development of their brain to such extent that you may as well say that your child will become smarter.
Dr. Nathalie Maitre, the lead researcher behind this study, explains that this simple activity, of providing body contact to your child or rocking them in your arms, makes a significant difference in the development of their brains.
“Making sure that preterm babies receive positive, supportive touch such as skin-to-skin care by parents is essential to help their brains respond to gentle touch in ways similar to those of babies who experienced an entire pregnancy inside their mother’s womb,” she explains to Science Daily.
All in all, love and affection are the key to one’s development in every stage of life. Start early and never stop! Your children will thank you for it in so many ways.
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