Study Says Holding Your Baby Early And Often Is Beneficial Later In Life

March 23, 2017
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Babies are meant to be snuggled and cuddled! They are the most adorable form of human beings and the cuteness must be held and loved all of the time.

Now there is actual research to back this theory up!

The journal Current Biology reported on research which shows that touch is critical to a baby’s development. The research shows that early touch has been shown to have lasting effects on their response to gentle touch later in life, and may be even more important for infants born prematurely.

Our findings add to our understanding that more exposure to these types of supportive touch can actually impact how the brain processes touch, a sense necessary for learning and social-emotional connections,” said Dr. Nathalie Maitre about their findings.

The study at Ohio’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital studied 125 babies born preterm, at a gestational age of 24 to 36 weeks, and also full-term babies born between 38 to 42 weeks.

Researchers used a gentle puff of air and then a “fake” puff of air. They then measured the babies’ brain responses to both.

Their research indicated that premature babies who were in the neonatal ICU and had an increased amount of gentle contact with parents and caregivers actually had a stronger response to the touch than the preterm infants, who did not receive as much gentle contact.

The study also showed that the babies who had experienced painful medical procedures had a lowered response to gentle touch later in life.

Maitre told Fox News “What is surprising is that painful procedures which are known to impact processing of pain in the brain also impact processing of touch, in a negative way,”.

The study concluded that gentle touch for all newborns, especially for those born premature, may help develop building blocks which they will need for cognition, communication, and behavior later in their lives.

So go on and snuggle your little ones! It’s good for them.

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