"There is a mass of evidence to demonstrate that the more touch a child gets in childhood, the calmer and less fearful he is likely to be as an adult."
Sometimes I hear that I hold Noutin too much.
My mom gave me better advice when Nouarie was born. She said to remember “you can never spoil a baby.”
I carry and cuddle Noutin a lot. He naps in my arms. I work on my laptop while he sleeps. I cook while carrying him. I walk around the house with him perched up on my shoulder like a little bird. I rock and pat him to sleep.
It’s not spoiling. Holding babies gives them what they need right now and it feels good. Frequent physical touch leads to stronger mental and physical health that lasts into adulthood.
But the snuggles won’t last forever.
I remember many of you telling me to soak up the baby cuddles when Nouaire was little, and she went through a little phase of insisting on touching me to stay asleep during naps. She is still snuggly, but she’s already big enough to normally feel more comfortable sleeping on a pillow than my chest. I keep trying to tell myself, and new moms, to just soak it up.
I also know Noutin won’t remember his warm, smooshy, sometimes squirmy, body melting into me as he falls asleep. He won’t know how much I loved feeling of his little lungs breathing and the sound of his slightly weezy and grumbly little breaths as he slept. But he will be more confident as a result of this time.
Remember my mom’s advice and some science. Hold your babies and encourage other mamas do to the same. Know what’s the best support? Offering to do something so a mama can keep snuggling.
PS This touch stuff applies to big kids, too!
Quote: The Science of Parenting by Margot Sunderland
I'm a teacher, mama, and mentor. I created the You Before School e-course and more. I'm here to encourage and share self-efficacy skills for women.