The more you hug your child, the better their brain development, say they authors of a recent study by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio.
The researchers have surveyed 125 premature and full-term babies, studying their responses to physical contact.
They found that premature babies respond to affection less than those carried to term.
Their main finding, however, is that brain activity was stronger in all the babies after physical contact with their parents or hospital staff.
According to researcher Dr. Nathalie Maitre, this means that simple touching and rocking motions deeply affect an infant’s brain development.
“Making sure that preterm babies receive positive, supportive touch such as skin-to-skin care by parents is essential to help their brains respond to gentle touch in ways similar to those of babies who experienced an entire pregnancy inside their mother’s womb,” says Dr. Maitre.
Basically, love and affection are essential to make the baby smarter and help them develop more quickly.
So hug your kids as often as possible—and don’t forget to share the news with other parents!