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In the same way that you can harm the development of your child’s brain by spanking, you can do the same by not giving them enough love and affection, suggests new study. Physical affection during a baby’s development period is even more important than we may have thought.

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To some this may sound obvious, but to many, the importance of affection is gravely overlooked and many are unaware of how much of a difference it can actually make. Skin-to-skin contact is essential for the release of the love/feel good chemical, dopamine, and this helps to aid in the healthy development of a child’s brain.

Quite simply, the  more you hug a baby, the more their brains grow and develop, says a recent study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio.

125 newborn babies including premature and full-term were included in the study which looked at how they responded to physical touch and affection. The results determined that premature babies who were generally kept in neonatal intensive care units responded less to physical touch than the babies who were born full term. It was also discovered that the babies who had more affection either from parents or hospital staff showed a stronger brain response.

According to a researcher involved in the study, Dr. Nathalie Maitre, this revelation shows how something as simple as body contact, or even rocking your child to sleep in your arms will make a big difference in how their brains develop.

“Making sure that pre-term 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”  Maitre told Science Daily.

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This research essentially goes against the “cry-it-out” method which suggests leaving your child alone to cry until they stop, apparently helps them to gain independence. Really, babies need love, they communicate from crying and smiling, to ignore them can cause significant impacts in how their brains develop and can cause an increase of the stress-related hormone called cortisol.

Simply put, babies cannot fend for themselves, they need the support of their parents. To leave them alone, is to deny them the essentials that are absolutely needed for a healthy life. To pick up a baby when it’s crying is in no way spoiling a child, it is responding to their only means of communication, to ignore them because they cannot ask for help is simply not fair.

Would You Love To Cuddle Babies, But Don’t Have Any?

Me too. There are actually programs that hire volunteers to cuddle and provide affection for babies who are born from mothers who are addicted to drugs. These babies need to be cuddled and this process assists the process of getting these babies clean. These programs are called Cuddle Care Programs, and they are always looking for more volunteers to be trained, check it out!

You can’t love a baby too much.

Much Love

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