7 Benefits Of Cuddling And Hugging Baby

Children of every age love the sensation of physical affection. They want the love and care of their parents and want to be close with them.

Woman kissing and cuddling a baby

Parents often cuddle their kids at younger ages. But as children start to grow up the cuddling generally becomes less frequent. Some may even attribute that to not wanting to “spoil the child”. Cuddling or hugging however provide several benefits for your child at all stages of life.

In this article, we will explain how cuddling is beneficial for both you and your child, even as they grow older.

What is Cuddling?

Cuddling means holding your child close in your arms to show your love, support, and understanding towards them.

Cuddling can also be any simple form of warm, heartfelt, and affectionate contact with your child.

Why is it Important to Hold and Cuddle A Baby?

Cuddling your baby is important to show your love and for bonding relationship with your child. Additionally, it also brings several positive health benefits.

According to psychologists, cuddling and hugging is great for your child’s development. Cuddling your baby is especially important in the first three months after birth. During this period, cuddling helps him/her to adjust to a new environment.

Your child will feel safe and warm in its new surroundings when you cuddle them. It also helps develop a strong bond and secure attachment between you and your child. And as a result, your child develops confidence, social relationship, empathy, and the ability to cope with challenges in the later stages of life

What If I Don’t Cuddle My Baby?

According to research, the children who don't experience cuddling have a lower level of oxytocin and vasopressin. Oxytocin and vasopressin are the two hormones that help to control stress and social behavior.

The lower level of oxytocin and vasopressin hormones makes your child less able to form attachments in adulthood.

Health Benefits of Cuddling for Both Parent and Child

Cuddling and hugging offer a large number of health benefits for both the parents and the children. According to studies, an affectionate touch provides is healthy for premature and newborn and older children, as well as their parents. Some of these benefits include:

Builds a Stronger Relationship:

Cuddling and hugging your child helps to develop a healthy and strong sense of personal relationship.

Provides Comfort:

It helps to provide comfort by keeping your baby calm and relaxed, and by extension, you as the parent.

Builds Muscle Tone and the Circulatory System:

It also helps to improve muscles and the functioning of the circulatory system. Improves Immunity: Cuddles help to improve the pulmonary and immune functions.

Promotes Better Sleep:

It helps encourage better and deeper sleep patterns.

Lowers Anxiety and Stress:

Cuddling promotes the production of the hormone oxytocin that directly helps to lower anxiety and stress level.

Provides Ease:

It helps to reduce the discomfort from teething, congestion, colic, stress, or various other conditions.

Strengthens the Digestive System:

It helps to strengthen the digestive, circulatory, and gastrointestinal systems.

Is cuddling a weak baby harmful?

No, cuddling is not harmful, even if the baby or sick. Some parents are afraid that they might hurt their weak or sick baby while cuddling. But cuddling is healthy for all babies and is encouraged.

Some hospitals even have volunteer huggers to cuddle babies when a parent or guardian is not able to be there, because the health benefits are so important.

According to a psychologist, parents of sick and weak children should cuddle their children often to interact with them and show their love and support. It will help your child to decrease their sense of helplessness.

Safety Tip: Avoid cuddling your baby while you are sleeping even if your baby is healthy.

How to Cuddle a Newborn Baby

To cuddle a newborn, you can employ a technique called Kangaroo Care.

Kangaroo care is skin-to-skin contact between your baby's front and your chest. This technique is also safe to do with a pre-mature, weak and small-sized baby.

Using this method, your baby can learn your scent, feel your touch and recognize the rhythms of your speech, and breathing.

How Does Cuddling Benefit During Breastfeeding?

woman cuddling baby while breastfeeding

Additional benefits of cuddling during breastfeeding are:

  • It helps to encourage breastfeeding and increase milk production.
  • It helps to encourage weight gain. I
  • t helps to maintain the body temperature of your baby.
  • It helps to keep your baby warm.
  • It helps to regulate the heart and breathing rate of your baby.
  • It helps to promote deep and better sleep.
  • It helps to give your child peacetime.

7 Reasons Why Cuddling and Hugging Your Baby is Important

Cuddling your newborn brings a lot of benefits. It helps to produce oxytocin hormones in both you and your baby which helps to lower stress levels.

Following are some reasons why cuddling is important for a baby:

1. Cuddling Helps to Ease Pain:

Whenever a newborn child is hurt he/she wants to be picked up and comforted. Cuddling your baby helps to make them feel better and also helps to ease their pain.

2. Cuddling Enables Eye Contact:

When a baby is born he/she can only see objects at a distance of 25 cm. Cuddling your baby help to maintain eye contact as your baby can see your eyes when you hold them close. Experts say that eye contact is important and helps to maintain brain development and bonding.

3. It Helps in Speech Development:

When you hold your baby close, he/she can observe the movement of your mouth. In this way, they start to wiggle their mouth and try to move their tongue. This helps to encourage your child to speak faster.

4. Cuddling Means Stronger Bonding:

Bonding is a close and emotional relationship. Some mothers develop a bond with their infant during pregnancy, while some parents develop the bond after birth.

Cuddling helps to develop a strong bonding relationship with your newborn.

Cuddling and hugging promote the production of the oxytocin hormone, which also aids in building strong and long-lasting relationships. This hormone also helps to reduce anxiety.

5. Cuddling Helps With Breastfeeding:

According to research, cuddling promotes breastfeeding, which directly benefits your baby.

Breastfeeding lowers the risk of infections, diarrhea and vomiting, type 2 diabetes, and various other childhood diseases. It also lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Not only in childhood, but breast milk also provides benefits later on in life, such as reducing the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Breastfeeding also provides benefits to the mother. It lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

6. It Builds a Healthy Brain:

Cuddling is healthy for the brain. It will help to keep your child's mind relaxed and positive as it helps build trust and encourages the development of secure relationships..

7. It Builds Independence and Resilience:

Responding to your child at a younger age leaves a long-lasting impact. This helps to develop self-confidence in your child and makes them ready to face the world bravely. Cuddling also helps to make your child trusting and more resilient as they grow older.

Final Thoughts:

Cuddling and hugging your child is healthy and is great both for you and your little kiddo. It brings positive health benefits and builds your child's personality. So no matter what anyone says, hold your child close to you.

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