If you are the kind of parent who hugs their children a little bit too much, don’t stop- your children will thank you for this. Namely, a recent research has found that this particular type of physical affection is more beneficial than you may think.
When we hug our children, especially when they are babies, we help their brains grow better and increase their chances of becoming smarter. This being said, use every moment possible to hug your little one- their brains will work and develop better.
Continue reading the article to learn more about the findings from this research.
Hugging Your Child Helps Boost their Brain Growth
The research was performed by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio and the team studied 125 babies. There were both pre-term and full-term babies and the researchers tested the effect of light physical touch on their brain, perception, cognition, and social development.
Moreover, supportive experiences like affectionate hugging, skin-to-skin contact, and breastfeeding resulted in strong brain responses that led to faster brain development.
On the other hand, painful experiences like insertions of tubes and skin punctures impeded the response of the brain to the same stimuli.
What Can We Conclude from the Study?
Thanks to this study, one can conclude that showing love and gentleness towards our children is not just the natural and humane thing to do, but the best thing we can do for our children.
The head of the research, Dr. Nathalie Maitre, points out that hugging or rocking your baby in your arms is highly beneficial during the developmental phases and it is pivotal that parents practice it regularly.
Supportive touch by parents is also key for pre-term babies because it can aid the brain’s response to gentle touch similarly to the full-term babies.
Why Is Parental Bonding Crucial?
When there is trust among humans and other mammals, the ability to manage stress and reduce the risk of destructive and addictive behaviors improves.
This process starts with the proper bonding among parents and children. During labor, the mother’s brain secretes a high amount of oxytocin and after birth; the levels of this hormone are higher in the baby than in the mother.
Oxytocin is also released during pregnancy, sex, breastfeeding and thus, it is closely related to the capacity for trust and the formation of significant relationship.
Healthy and regular interactions will encourage the release of hormones and hugging our children is the most natural instinct. It feels good for both you and your little one.