The power of a simple “touch”
A loving touch plays a vital role in a child’s welfare and development. The benefits of “touch” are not merely physical but are also essential for growth, enhancement of physical abilities, language, cognitive skills, and social-emotional competence. Touch not only has short-term effects but also provides long-term benefits.
A simple human touch can do wonders. Babies find “touch” very soothing. A crying or fussy baby can be easily comforted with a simple hug, cuddle or a kiss. They just need to feel your presence. And your touch alerts them of your presence, which calms them down.
A parent or caregiver’s touch can help your child develop socially, mentally and emotionally. Skin-to-skin contact just after birth is very important to establish a bond between the baby and the mother. It creates a positive atmosphere and makes your baby feel secure. It reduces crying and helps to breastfeed successfully. It is not only beneficial for the baby but the mother physically and mentally. It helps to baby develop trust in the mother which is a very important aspect of child upbringing.
On a physical level skin-to-skin contact just after birth helps regulate the baby’s body temperature, heartbeats and breathing rates. The child feels emotionally secured and is much happier.
Kangaroo care is developmental care by holding your little one close to your chest. It is the most effective way and a good example of skin-to-skin contact because both the mother and the child are partially
clothed and their bodies come in direct contact. It has proved beneficial especially in the case of preemie babies. It helps in motor development, improved immune system, weight gain, and better sleep. It reduces their stress and there is less crying.
Many parents find carrying their baby in a sling or wrap soothing. This makes your little one feel secure and enhances your bond with your child. Once they have grown up you can make up for it by giving them hugs, kisses, and cuddles. It is important to make different forms of touching and bonding.
Massage has always proved to be favourable for a child. It enhances their motor development and helps in the smooth movement of their arms and legs. It is another way to connect with your little one and helps them sleep peacefully and decrease their irritability. Incorporate it into their daily routine. Baths not only help in keeping your child clean and hygienic but are also a medium to connect to your baby and establish a secure attachment with them.
A sense of touch is very important for your child. The more love, warmth, and affection you show towards them, the more resilient they become towards frustration, irritability, and stress. A mere touch from you can calm your little one. When your child is in distress or is upset, a soft cuddle or hug from you can cheer him up.
Touch has proven to show benefits such as mother-child attachment, satisfaction and security, and a better home environment. Children especially the younger ones thrive on physical proximity. They crave attention and want to be close to you. It makes them feel loved and safe.
Apart from cuddling and holding them close, you can establish a skin-to-skin contact with your child during a bath or by giving them a message.
Not only the caregiver or parents’ touch, but the warm water and bubbles to soothe your child while bathing. It involves playing games and splashing water, which has a positive impact on your child. And a proper massage results in improved social, physical, mental and cognitive development. It relaxes them and tends to reduce fussing and crying.
Make sure that “touch” is an integral part of your child’s routine. You can do that while bathing them or by giving them a good relaxing massage. It forges a strong bond between you both. Apart from all that shower them with hugs and kisses and have a cuddling session with them.