Advice Column, Bonitas, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby

Physical touch & newborns – why is this so important

  • Bonitas
  • Category Advice Column, Bonitas, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby

The birth of your baby is a beautiful and special moment in both of your lives. You may be wondering about your newborn’s senses, while they are born with all necessary senses, some are less precise than others and develop as your baby grows.

Physical touch is an important aspect of your child’s growth, coming from your womb, where they are tightly cocooned in your womb. Skin to skin contact offers benefits to both you and your baby, and touch is one of the senses that can help comfort your baby, making them feel more secure and helping strengthen the bond between the two of you.

Why is touch important?

Touch enables your baby to learn more about the world, bond with their mother and learn communication skills, as touch and body language will be the first way that you can ‘speak’ to one another. Breastfeeding is an important part of this, as your baby then spends time in her mother’s arms.

The benefits of touch goes beyond the physical. Contact between mom and baby has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which in turn benefits the functioning of the immune system.  Children that are deprived of touch can be more aggressive with other conduct disorder problems.

What is swaddling?

Coming from a tightly packed womb, you’ll find that your baby is comforted by touch and close cuddles. Swaddling your baby in a blanket is also another technique that you can use on young babies to help them feel more secure, as it stops them from upsetting themselves from their own startle reflex. It’s important that your newborn finds their new world a comfortable and soothing place.

Swaddling is an old technique, and beyond helping your little one feel safe and secure, your baby is likely to sleep better and will be kept nice and cosy in their blanket. If you decide to swaddle your baby it’s best to do so from birth, as opposed to introducing it when they are older as this can increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Using the proper techniques when swaddling is also important, as incorrect wrapping can lead to issues.

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