Studies Show That Babies Significantly Benefit From Human Touch

We now know more than ever the paramount importance of the power of physical contact for babies

Moms have long known that a mother's touch is a very powerful thing, and that for a child, there's no safer or more comforting place than in their mother's arms. Now, doctors and hospitals are recognizing the power of touch for babies and have begun placing more importance on it.

Over 600 studies have reported how vital touch is for babies, and Huggies has started a program called No Baby Unhugged to help make sure all babies are receiving the contact they need. Sometimes, circumstances prevent a mom from being by the side of her newborn, but through the No Baby Unhugged program, hospitals are being helped to ensure all babies benefit from skin-to-skin touch, even if a mom can’t be there.

The initiative is designed to not only help provide touch to babies in hospitals, it’s also meant to help inform parents on the importance and power of touch with their babies so that the knowledge is spread and can be taken into the home. Through a partnership with the Canadian Association of Paediatric Health Centres (CAPHC), Huggies is now facilitating and funding hospital hugging programs in Canada.

The program sets up hugging chairs and stations in Canadian hospitals and also provides dozens of Hugger Volunteers in the neonatal intensive care units to make sure babies are being held and hugged.

A paper called The Power of Human Touch for Babies by the Centre for Pediatric Pain Research discusses the evidence collected from hundreds of different studies, which shows that babies who have a lack of human touch experience striking negative impacts. These include “delayed growth and development, illness, higher stress levels and issues with attachment and properly bonding with caregivers.” 

Human touch is a powerful and positive necessity for babies. “They need a certain amount of stimulation and touch to help promote healthy and normal development, including physical development (how their bodies grow), emotional development (their mental health and how they learn to manage their feelings), behavioural development (how they learn to control and manage their own development), and social development (learning how to interact with other people).” 

Thanks to Huggies, and an increased awareness, more parents are being informed of the importance of human touch—like holding and/or rocking, facilitated tucking, infant massage, and skin-to-skin care or kangaroo care—when it comes to their little ones. 

The benefits of different types of touch include: faster weight gain, shorter hospital stays, more stable heart rates, improved oxygen levels, better tolerance of pain, improved sleep, less anxiety and stress, stronger immune systems, more stable body temperature, healthier brain development, increased social skills, and improved language skills. 

That’s a lot of good side effects, and all through the simple power of touch. It’s like parents have magic hands, able to benefit their babies with nothing more than their own skin. You go, caregivers! Hug the good stuff right into your little ones. 

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