Hugging your baby – You come home after a tired days work. Totally worn out with little or no energy. You are first greeted by your dog who comes and tries to jump on you. Followed by your little one who comes running out and gives you one big hug.
So now you enter your house with a smile on your face. Only to find your spouse greeting you with a smile and seeing that you are worn out comes and gives you a hug.
Do you really think that you would still be in the same wound up mood? Do you think you will feel totally drained out after all this hugs? Wont this simple action make your day better.
Yes, hugging makes anyone feel good. Be it an adult or a baby.
But did you ever think about other effects it can have when you are hugging your baby? Can hugging nurture a baby into a happy and outgoing child? What are the results of not hugging your baby?
In the past, hugging has always been a universal way of showing a feeling to someone. Hugs make you feel good. It shows caring and affection. When you are sad, a hug is the best way to cheer up the mood. Is there more to hugs?
Multiple researches have been carried out to explain exactly happens inside a child in scientific terms. Hugging your baby does bring out a happy, intelligent child, but what exactly happens inside one’s body?
Hugging has many benefits than you have ever imagined.
A baby should be nourished both mentally and physically for healthy development. The nourishing starts from the day the baby is born.
Research shows that a skin to skin contact right after birth is very healthy for the baby. This type of contact should not be the last one.
Hugging your baby should be done many times during a day. Researchers say that a hug can make a child healthier, smarter, and happier.
In Eastern Europe, orphaned infants are raised with minimal human contact. They spend most of their time in cribs and are given bottles for feeding. These children develop issues related to delay motor skills and intellectual development. So many things can go wrong without a little gesture like a hug!
A 20 seconds long hug can do wonders to a child! It nurtures excellent physical and emotional growth and mental stability.
9 ~ Amazing Benefits of hugging your Baby
Hugging Protects baby by increasing immune system
As mentioned above, releasing of Oxycontin gives many benefits. It is a very powerful hormone and helps in several ways in a human body. This hormone helps boost the immune system by lowering the plasma levels of thyroid hormone and promotes healing
A strong immune system means less illnesses and a strong body. Toddlers are likely to injure themselves several times at this stage.
This is where the other benefit of Oxycontin kicks in. Oxycontin can decrease inflammation which in result causes wounds to heal faster.
There is also a softer benefit of a hugging. When your little one comes running crying that they have scraped their knees. A good hug always consoles and calms the baby.
Hugging your baby diverts their attention from the pain. It is one of the hacks when you take your baby for a vaccination shot. And your child feels loved and is secure.
You can do the necessary first aid of the wound your little one has. It is important to do so.
Note: However, do not go ahead and give any medication to your baby or toddler without your pediatrician recommending it.
As a parent I feel that every parent should know about self-medication and its potential risk. Do spend some time reading our article SELF MEDICATION for Kids – A MUST KNOW for every parent,
Overall, the benefits of this love hormone are immense, and it is defiantly a win-win from all angles.
Hugging helps baby achieve developmental milestones
There are many benefits when it comes to hugging. We all know about the usual emotional feeling of a hug.
However, a hug also benefits in children’s physical growth. A baby needs the right nutrients to nourish physical growth.
More importantly, nutrients with lots of hugs is the best formula to make the baby grow physically to its full potential.
Hugging your baby releases a special hormone known as oxytocin, which is also called a love hormone.
Not only does this love hormone make a baby feel good, but it plays a vital role in boosting the levels of growth hormones.
For example, Oxycontin increases several growth hormones like insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and nerve growth factor (NGF). All in all, physical touch plays a vital role in enhancing a baby’s physical growth.
The other ways in which you as parents can help in the physical development of your baby other than hugging your baby is addressed in our article How-To Improve Physical Development in Your Baby
Hugging your baby makes a baby Intelligent
A newborn baby is helpless and dependent. Furthermore, the brain is not active, and it is up to the parents to trigger the brain nerves to start its functions.
A baby requires sensory stimulation to develop a normal growth. Physical contact like hugging your baby is the best way to trigger normal development.
Research has shown that a baby with hugs reaches milestones on time and grows into a normal adult. Whereas babies who are raised with minimal touch develop complications and are more prone to develop mentally disturbance.
You are interested to know other ways in which you can boost your baby’ IQ. We have covered it in our article 15 ~ Easy ways to Boost your baby’s IQ.
It is vital for babies to be enriched with proper care and love to stimulate normal growth and development.
Helps in positively disciplining the baby
When a child is naughty it is natural for us to go and give an appropriate punishment to the kid. Sometimes these punishments can only make the kid much more defiant than they are already where.
And times they can resort to these misbehavior just to seek attention from you.
However, at times when you know your kid is behaving in a certain way just to get your attention. Understand that it is their cry for help to be noticed. It is better to acknowledge the need and resort to hugging instead of disciplining them through a punishment.
In fact, I have noticed that once your kid hugs you and you give a tight one back. Your kid’s mindset comes to the present.
And is more receptive to hear what you have to say. And they follow it through. Just to show to you as a parent that they are good and to keep up the reward of the hug that they just got from you.
Hugging makes both you and you baby happy
There is no simple way to put it. But hugging your baby makes them happy. We all want a happy child at the end of the day.
Also hugging comes in handy to pacify an anxious baby. Babies and toddlers are prone to anxiety issues. And if not addressed properly can lead well into adult life.
So, when you hug your baby your baby is not only happy it also gives them the confidence that is needed to overcome anxiety related issues. To read more about this issue. Read our article How-To deal with anxiety in Babies & Toddlers
Hugging develops a strong bond
It is a basic concept that hugging also plays a crucial role in developing a strong bond between the child and the parents. In addition, it builds a powerful trust.
The child will a have a mental stability knowing that he or she is loved and has someone to look on to in times of need.
Ideally, the baby develops a bond with the mother by the age of 6 to 9 months to the point of feeling anxious if she is not around. At this time, the baby will cry if there is no presence of the mother. This indicates that a trust has been formed.
The mother has been providing all the needs to the baby like feeding when hungry, changing the diaper when needed etc. This is the relationship; mothers can look forward to.
As a result, hugging with meeting the baby’s needs results in trust and a strong bond.
There are also other ways by which you can form a connection with your baby. And it is outlined in our article How to Bond with your baby easily?
If you like to know specifically on how a father can bond with their baby, you can read a much more specific article for fathers by the title How can fathers’ bond with the baby?
Hugging minimizes crying and tantrums
People have argued that hugging a kid having a tantrum is like rewarding the child for bad behavior. However, this is not the right way to think.
In our body, we have two separate mechanism to regulate emotions. To simplify, the arousal branch and the calming branch.
When a child is having a tantrum, the arousal branch can, unfortunately, get out of control and make the calming branch inactive. It is like a car running at full speed with no brakes.
At this point, a hug can help immensely by activating the calming branch and put brakes to the moving car.
This is something I have done for all my 3 children and many for my niece and nephews. And I can assure you that for me it worked every time.
Every time my kids get cranky or I find the triggers of a tantrum coming up. I usually call in for a hug. That somehow pacifies them and prevents them from throwing tantrum.
Also, when I find my kids engaging in a full-blown tantrum with their father or grandparents or others. And they are well into throwing their weight around. The first thing I do when it comes to my attention. Is to stop them and ask them to come and give me a hug.
Once again this stops your kid from proceeding further into the tantrum.
As a result, hugging is also beneficial in calming the nerves of a tantrum child.
To know more ways about how to deal temper tantrums you can Explorer article 10 Effective Ways To Reduce Temper Tantrums in Kids.
Hugging is a good stress buster
When a child is born, the nervous system is not developed fully to control big emotions by itself. It may seem like the toddler is being stubborn but that may not be the case inside his or her body.
Researchers have pointed that if the child is left in the state of distress, the child will not be able to come out of it by him or herself. This will lead to an increase in stress hormones resulting in emotional crash. Increased stress hormones can lead to multiple issues like weak memory and immune system. There can be long term effects too. It can lead to depression in the later stages of life.
It is the duty of the parents to stop this kind of trauma in a child by consoling him or her and nurturing the child with lots of hugs.
Kids build resilience they later grow to become skillful in facing challengers and overcoming it with the right attitude
Facing challenges in life is one of the key life skills that every parent needs to teach their children.
While your child still a baby you would teach them by hugging and showing them love and security. And as they grow big you will need to use other methods to show and teach them how to face challenges.
If you are interested to know you can read our article 11 Practical ways to help your child face challenges
Hugging promotes positive outlook to life
Hugging holds the key to three psychological effects. They are self-esteem, optimism, and mastery.
In detail, optimism is the positive outlook on one’s future. A person is less likely to get into depression when they have an optimistic outlook in life.
Self-esteem refers to a person’s evaluation overall worth of oneself. A good self esteem is what makes you put your best foot forward and face life with an ‘I can’ attitude and not give in to excuses or doubts.
Mastery involves the belief that one can master all aspects of his or her environment and bring favorable outcomes.
Overall, these three psychological factors play a vital role in making the child grow to be a successfully adult.
While this is looking far into your baby’s future. But as parents we need to understand the foundation is set through these very early stages in their life.
So, while your child is still a baby the simple acts of hugging and kissing your baby. Forms the base that is needed for them to develop upon and grow to be successful in life.
There is more to a hug. A baby needs to know that he or she is loved. A baby gains mental stability knowing that there is someone taking care of me and fulfilling all my needs.
Not only does a baby need the right nutrients to nurture growth, but he or she needs lots of physical bonding through hugs and kisses.
Hugging is associated with many things like stress hormones, oxytocin hormones, and many other hormones. These hormones should be balanced in a human body to give the baby to grow to its best potential.
In conclusion, hugging from the stage of a newborn baby goes a long way. For physical, emotional, and psychological well being of your baby.
What are you waiting for? There is no such thing as too much hugging or too much of kissing. You can kiss your baby and hug them as much as you can, for as long as you can. It will only get better and better both for you and for your baby.
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