When is National Hugging Day?
National Hugging Day is celebrated every year on January 21st all over the world! National Hugging Day celebrates the simplest and most effective way of expressing affection to the ones you love. If you’re a parent, you’ll never forget the first time you hugged your baby. Feeling their warmth and rhythmic heartbeat from hugging a baby for the first time is a beautiful memory that you will cherish forever.
However, while baby hugging offers benefits for every stage of life, it is particularly important in child development. In fact, there are quite a few scientific benefits to hugging your child in the earliest stages of life. So this January 21st, let’s celebrate National Hugging day by delving into some of the most crucial benefits of hugging your baby.
TOP BENEFITS OF HUGGING YOUR BABY
Hugging a Baby Boosts Brain Development
One of the biggest benefits of hugging your baby lies in the potential for brain development! Brain development and learning occur when connections are formed between brain cells. Babies are born with very few of these connections, but with an immense potential to quickly form them due to their neural plasticity– and the way hugging a baby affects the brain can play a major role in early development..
When babies take in new information by absorbing stimuli through their senses, these connections form at an accelerated rate. Similarly, any touch to the baby’s skin will also stimulate a large portion of the brain and spark additional connections, thus leading to a more developed brain. This means baby hugging is a huge way to encourage and accelerate these connections.
Baby Hugging Reduces Stress Hormones
During moments of stress, hormones like adrenaline and cortisol are released throughout the body. Because babies cannot yet regulate their emotions, these chemical reactions to stress can linger and have negative impacts on their health. Increased levels of oxytocin from hugging a baby reduces these stress hormones, thus calming all of their systems and boosting feelings of happiness. This means that hugging benefits range from encouraging positive emotions to helping soothe negative stressors, working to baby’s full advantage.
Hugs Boost Breast Milk Supply
The calming benefits of baby hugging don’t just affect your baby, but you as well! Hugging a baby can help relax the mind and body to combat the stress that depletes breast milk supply. Additionally, oxytocin is one of the most important hormones for making breast milk. Reduce your stress even further with Baby Brezza’s Safe + Smart Breast Milk Warmer to warm your breast milk quickly, safely, and with total peace of mind, so that you have time to experience even more hugging benefits with your baby!.
Hugging a Baby Helps Regulate a Baby’s Sleep Patterns
Before a baby learns to communicate verbally, they first communicate physically. Hugging a baby lets a baby know that they are loved and cared for by conveying warmth and security. This same sense of security has been known to help establish more routine sleep cycles for babies, so baby hugging is even more important than you may think. Having your baby sleep skin-to-skin not only keeps them warm, but also has the added benefits of stabilizing heart, respiratory, and oxygen saturation rates. Of course, ensuring that their bottle is warm is also an important factor in helping your baby sleep. With Baby Brezza’s Instant Formula Warmer, you can make a perfectly warm bottle every time!
Baby Hugging Helps You Bond With Your Baby
One of the most important benefits of hugging is the bond it creates between you and your baby.
From the first time you hold your child, you form a special bond. This initial bond is nurtured through hugs by improving trust, reducing fear, and strengthening relationships. Hugging a baby regularly continues to encourage and strengthen this bond.
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How Often is Hugging a Baby Recommended?
While there is no clear consensus on the exact number of hugs a baby needs, experts recommend 10-20 hugs per day for a baby’s first years of life. There is a common misconception that “too many hugs” can spoil a baby. This is simply untrue, as baby’s require copious amounts of attention. It’s safe to say that baby hugging should happen as often as possible.
When Do Babies Start Hugging Back?
Baby snuggles are the best, but there's nothing like the day they hug you back, or even initiate a hug of their own. Babies typically start to hug back between 16-18 months of age. This is when they start to become more independent, but still need that reassurance that mom and dad are there for them. As long as you continue your baby hugging, the benefits of hugging will increase, and they’ll eventually start hugging back!
What Happens if You Don’t Hug a Baby?
Countless studies have examined the effects of not hugging a child during their earliest days of development. A lack of hugs, or physical affection in general, can lead to stunted growth, unregulated social behavior, insecure attachment styles, and many other negative effects.
The benefits of hugging your baby are immeasurable. Regardless of their age, communicating to your child that you are there for them unconditionally, is essential for their overall development and well-being, and hugging a baby is one of the easiest ways to show this. So, celebrate National Hugging Day by hugging your baby to help them build towards a happier, healthier life!
What is a Virtual Hug? The Benefits of Sending Your Baby a Virtual Hug
If you’re traveling, are away from home, or your baby is spending time with grandparents or extended family, hugging a baby is still important– and a virtual hug may be the perfect way for parents to send their love through the phone or computer. Essentially, a virtual hug is a catch-all term for sending a sweet message, video, or .gif to someone you love in order to express love while you aren’t in the same place. Parents can record a sweet video of them talking, kissing, and cooing at the camera for their baby to watch, helping to stimulate mood, engage their sight, and increase your familiarity and bond. The benefits of hugging can transcend physical touch, and a virtual hug is the perfect way to show that love!
- Hugging a baby promotes emotional growth, comfort, and brain development. Baby hugging increases your bond with your child, and the benefits of hugging continue to bloom as your child feels safer and closer to you.
- Yes! Babies feel stimulated by skin-to-skin contact, and are comforted immensely by each embrace. Hugging a baby is an easy way to promote a healthy bond and make sure that they feel safe and looked after. Hugging benefits parents, too! You’ll feel closer to your baby anytime you’re hugging them.
- When hugging a baby, the physical touch chemical oxytocin is released, which makes both you and baby feel closer to one another. More connections are made in your baby’s brain from baby hugging, and the bond you experience will make them trust you even more. The benefits of hugging your baby are countless!
- No, you can’t– the myth that you can hug a baby too much is unfounded, and parents should always celebrate the benefits of hugging instead of worrying about spoiling their little one. Hugging a baby increases joy, bond, and trust between parent and child!