My son was born four weeks ahead of schedule. He was underweight and had jaundice. When the nurse put that tiny thing in my hands after my delivery, I didn’t know what to do. I just instinctively pressed him to my heart and hugged. The feeling was surreal, something that I had never felt before. My mind was working overtime, with crazy questions popping up in quick succession. “Did my baby recognize me? Does he also feel the way I do?” Before he was born, I didn’t realize that the first hug I give to my baby will unleash a flood of emotions in me. But that is the power of hugs.
Mother’s hugs are angelic. The feeling of warmth in a mother’s hug is surreal. Your baby can’t get cozier anywhere than in your loving embrace. Mother’s hugs are proven miracles for infants. They have made fragile children healthier in the most critical times after birth. The wonderful touch of a mother makes the baby feel secure. This is why the new Huggies Wonder Pants takes inspiration from a mother’s hug.
If you think it is just a sentiment and nothing more, then think again, because over 600 medical studies have proven how hugs can work wonders for your baby. Here’s how the magic works:
1. Skin-to-skin contact:
Right after birth, rooming-in is recommended for immediate skin-to-skin contact. Also, when babies are placed in intensive care units, parents are recommended to hold them as it is known to improve their health.
- Skin-to-skin helps babies sleep better, and stay calmer.
- It also aids in thermoregulation. Soon after delivery, the mother’s temperature around the chest is higher than the rest of the body by a degree or two. This makes it warm for babies and regulates the otherwise low temperature of their bodies.
- Skin-to-skin contact releases oxytocin hormone or the feel-good hormone in the mother. Also, if the baby sleeps well, that’s because he is close to his mother, and the mother can also sleep well.
2. Hugging can make your child smart:
Babies who are often hugged by parents have higher chances of developing better brains.
According to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis discovered that children who were nurtured by their mothers early on have larger hippocampus in comparison to those who weren’t. The hippocampus is the area of the brain that is essential for memory, learning, and stress-response.
This leaves little doubt that hugging can be beneficial for your child’s psychological and emotional well-being.
3. Hugging your baby reduces stress levels:
Cortisol, the stress hormone, is high in kids who have no parental love. For instance, children living in orphanages have higher levels of the stress hormone in comparison to those who live with parents. Hugging your baby would help in healthy nurturing and make him or her feel connected with you all the time.
4. Cuddling your baby promotes physiological growth and metabolism:
Kangaroo care or constant cuddling helps kids sleep better and display better autonomic functions such as steadier respiration, heart rate, and adequate attention.
5. Your child understands your love for him through your hugs:
Whether or not your baby has begun to speak, an affectionate gesture is the only way to tell your child that you love him. Your child is also receptive to warm gestures like a bear hug. It makes him feel secure.
6. It helps build an unfailing connect:
Your baby can recognize your touch and can easily differentiate your touch from any others’. It is found that children who aren’t inducted into parental touch have cognitive and emotional deficits. Such children may also not be able to differentiate between the good and the bad touch.
7. Your baby loves to imitate your bear hugs:
Your child too tries to mollycoddle you, and his squishy touch will always make you feel great. You will be surprised to see how your child wants to communicate their love to you. Research shows that children as young as two to four months old can stiffen their bodies when they know that their mother is about to hug them. So, stiffening is the baby’s way of making it easy for mum to lift and hold him in her arms.
Diapers also have a very important role to play in the life of your baby, because the diaper constantly accompanies your baby at all times, be it during the day or night. Therefore, choosing the right diaper is very important. After you, a diaper is literally the second most important connection that your baby has. In that regard, I found Huggies Wonder Pants very impressive. They are so comfortable that my baby stays happy in them all day long. They truly seem inspired by a mother’s hug!
On a closing note, I want to encourage all young mothers to hug your babies as often as you can, and for as long as you can, because they can make a world of difference to your baby’s life.