You might think any parent should not need a reminder to hug their baby every day. But when you get caught up with the demands of parenting and working, sometimes it can be frighteningly easy to forget to express affection by hugging.
But hugging is more than an expression of affection. Don’t get us wrong; it is a wonderful expression of love and care, and your baby will definitely love it all the time. However, there are actually health benefits of hugs that are worth exploring. Here are 6 amazing reasons why you should hug your child every day!
1. Hugging has a tremendous impact on brain development.
Did you know that hugging can actually affect your baby’s brain development positively? Nurturing physical touch, like hugging, stimulates a young brain and gives it the enriching environment that it needs to grow healthily.
Some studies also show that children who grew up in a loving environment (with plenty of hugs) tend to have a larger hippocampus. This is the part of the brain that is responsible for learning, memory, and stress response.
2. Hugging can help boost the immune system.
It may come as a surprise to many, but hugging has also been observed to strengthen a baby’s maturing immune system! The physical touch that hugging results in increased levels of oxytocin that helps in fighting off infections and sickness.
3. Hugging can help your baby grow.
Another of the many benefits of hugging has something to do with your baby’s growth — physical growth! Aside from fighting off infections, another function of oxytocin is growth promotion. And because hugging stimulates the release of this wonderful hormone, it also enhances your baby’s growth rate!
4. Hugging gives your child a strong self-esteem.
A baby that is often hugged is a happy baby! When you show them affection through hugs and other forms of nurturing touch, they begin to trust their primary carer (you!). This simple feeling helps lay a foundation for a healthy self-esteem.
This healthy self-confidence and self-esteem empower your baby to explore and experience the world around them. Because they know that they have someone they can trust, they are less afraid to try new things and learn new things.
5. Hugging is effective in reducing stress.
Aside from the health benefits of hugs mentioned above, hugging is also an effective method to reduce stress. It is so effective that it works right away! This is because skin-to-skin contact has been proven to lower the stress hormone called cortisol.
When your baby is stressed and overwhelmed with stimulation or big emotions, give them a hug. At the same time, if you’re stressed from work or from the daily household chores, the best solution for immediate stress relief is hugging your baby.
6. Hugging makes your child feel loved, safe, and secure.
Finally, the most important benefit of hugging — arguably more important than all the mental and physical benefits described above — is simply how it makes your baby feel afterward. The simple act of intimacy makes your baby feel loved, safe, and secure.
Some say that babies don’t actually understand the concept of love until they are made to feel it. With nurturing hugs, your baby begins to understand what it feels like to be loved. This is a crucial foundation for a lifetime of emotional security, which paves the way for trust, honesty, and empathy.
If there should be one identifying factor of good parenting, it’s being able to raise a well-adjusted individual who exhibits the qualities mentioned above. So don’t delay; hug your baby now!