When I came home from the hospital with my first baby I did nothing but hold him. I almost never put him down, not even to use the restroom as I quickly learned how to do that completely one-handed.
I just couldn’t stop snuggling him even though after a while I stared thinking that I was making some sort of mistake, that I should probably teach him to self soothe and be without me. Luckily for new moms now, there is actual science and research to tell them it’s OK, hold that baby all you want.
This study particularly focused on premature babies like mine, explains that touching such as nursing and skin-to-skin contact are associated with stronger brain responses. These early experiences even have an effect on cognitive and social development later on.
Not only is touch good for them, it is absolutely essential.
And even though this particular study was focused on the preemie babies, they say the same holds true for full-term babies as well.
They refer to this type of touch as gentle touch, meaning not all touch is considered equal. It needs to come from an act of nurturing and caring. So snuggling and loving on our babies as much as we possibly can is important work.
I almost wish I could go back and hold my babies MORE but I think that is common for all mama’s as their babies grow. So to the brand new mom: hold that little baby. Snuggle and touch and kiss your new love every second you can.
You deserve to (and truly can) thrive as a mama. Organic Parenting can help. Get the Unconventional Guide to Vibrant Mamas and Thriving Kids.
Liz is a just a mom trying to keep it real about how little she sleeps, how often she gets puked on and how much she loves them. You can find her here every day writing about real-mom moments.