The moment your baby is born and finally placed in your arms is a truly special one. And the beginning of a wonderful time of love and sharing for both parent and child alike.
Not only does the gentle skin-to-skin contact of that moment encourage that strong bond between you and your newborn, but it also offers many other benefits in terms of your baby’s health and future development.
Here are five ways that touch is so important to you and your baby and helpful ways to go about it:
1. A calming effect
The gentle act of touch instantly helps your baby to relax, quieten down and cry less. After growing in a fairly snug environment over nine months, babies enjoy being held, cuddled, rocked, caressed – anything that allows your baby to feel soothed by your touch. This physical contact can also reduce stress for mum, helping you to calm down, be more open to recognising your baby’s cues and allowing the bonding process to flourish right from the start.
2. A feeling of security
Touch is so much a part of helping your baby to feel safe and secure. As you bond with your baby, recognising and responding to your baby’s cues, she will start to develop a secure attachment, which offers enormous benefits later in life such as the ability to develop fulfilling relationships and feel confident about themselves. A baby is not yet able to communicate verbally, so physical contact such as touching and cuddling, is a gift to your child in terms of creating a sense of safety as well as her overall wellbeing and development – and for a mother, it is truly divine.
3. Getting to know you
Massage is a wonderful way to create a close connection and share loving time together, not to mention calming for both mother and child. Choose a gentle and soothing massage oil that’s been specially developed for baby’s sensitive skin such as Cetaphil Baby Massage Oil and rub it gently over your baby’s body after bath. This quiet, gentle massage will relax and calm your baby, nurture her skin and lock in moisture, while promoting that heart-warming relationship between mother and child.
4. Brain development
Studies have revealed that physical touch between parent and child in those early newborn days plays an important role in healthy brain development. Slow touch and caressing have been shown to increase the brain’s ability to develop a sense of ownership over the body and maintain a healthy sense of self. Other studies show that this early touch also encourages your baby’s brain to respond to affection, which is important for later development. Cuddling, stroking and gently caressing your baby will help this process, allowing her to feel calm and comfortable in a safe, nurturing environment.
5. Off to sleep
It can be challenging for babies to get used to their new environment and feel relaxed and ready for sleep. Holding, cuddling and snuggling will calm your baby right down, helping her feel relaxed and more likely to fall into a blissful sleep. Prepare a lovely warm bath and gently wash your baby with Cetaphil Baby Moisturising Bath & Wash. With one third lotion and soothing Aloe Vera, it’s ideal for newborns, softly cleansing their skin and helping them truly relax before you slip them all snuggly into bed.
This post is sponsored by Cetaphil Baby