These were the words that continually resound in my head the moment I read an article about the benefits of hugs to babies, especially premature babies. But, can regret turn back time and bring me back to the days when I was unable to touch my baby because of the glass wall of the incubator blocking my hand?
Our child was born at a premature age. With the constant battle from stress and cover-ups during my pregnancy, I was not able to understand and learn the things necessary for my baby’s welfare. I looked at the picture on one side, my selfish part, and failed to look at the other. If I was able to learn what I have to as an expectant mother, iI would have done more to take care of my baby.
A touch from a mother has a stimulating benefit to the brain development of a premature baby. The procedures done to premature babies in the NICU are often painful and can reduce their brain responses to touch even when providers do their best to alleviate the pain.
Parents must give more gentle touches to their babies to help boost their brain responses.
Even when they are in the hospital, a loving touch from their parents can stimulate these brain responses and assist in their sensory development.
But, despite everything my husband and I went through, we are still grateful now that we can hug our child anytime we want. We have the chance to make up for all those times when we were not able to and, looking forward, it feels great to have more of these special moments in the future.
So, how about hugging your baby today? 🙂
Still, there is more to hugging than just the above-mentioned benefits. By the time you bring your baby home from the hospital until he or she grows up to become an adult, your child needs all the hugs he or she can get. (And don’t get me wrong, adults need hugs too! 🙂 )
What Hugging Means For Your Child
- Hugs help them grow. A hug releases what we call the love hormone. It is called oxytocin, which increases growth factors in their bodies when stimulated. So, the more you hug your child, the more oxytocin is released.
- It helps in dealing with stress. Yes, your child can be in a stressful situation, whether fighting with a sibling, having misunderstandings with friends, or getting physically hurt. These stressful moments are difficult for them. But, hugs can ease all the burden and make them feel better. Not only will oxytocin increase your child’s growth factor, but it can also help them deal with stress better.
- A hug makes them feel safe. Your child will have to adapt to new surroundings and they will need to feel emotionally secure and accepted. A loving hug fosters safety and trust in a child. It gives them a message that they are not alone and that they can trust you.
- It will boost their self-esteem. It is no surprise to see some kids not confident enough to try different things. Building self-confidence is a challenge, even as we grow older. One way to help your child enhance their self-confidence is by giving them a reassuring and encouraging hug that will empower them to do things.
- Hugs will make them smarter. The more you hug your child, the better his or her learning and development progress will be. Research shows that children with more hugs have a bigger hippocampus, part of the brain for learning. It simply means that they have a brain capacity that is influential to their learning ability. But, it also means that your kid will be more enthusiastic and inspired to learn.
- It teaches them empathy. Children are mirrors, reflecting the things around them. Showing them love through hugging and caring will teach them to love others in return. It is a vital lesson that they can bring with them as they grow up.
- Hugs keep our children healthy. Who does not want a healthy kid running around and laughing all day? Hugging our kids will boost their immune system as their thymus glands are stimulated and more oxytocin are released.
One hug for the morning rise.
To make a child happy and wise.
And one more hug for the midday treat.
Adds to each moment something sweet.
Then another hug as the day goes by
To comfort all the boos and sigh.
And as the day turns into night,
A loving hug will make things right.
Four hugs a day keep away the blues.
Four hugs a day make a better snooze.
Arm on arm and bodies locked.
A peaceful head as the shoulders rocked.
But, who can say your child needs four?
When every day you can do so much more!
Hugs to you all!
Do you have a beautiful hug story to share? We are excited to hear about it. Tell us in the comments below!
Photo by Daniel Filipe Antunes Santos on Unsplash