Hug, snuggle, embrace, nuzzle, nestle, squish, huddle, burrow, spoon. However you choose to do it, cuddle your child!
Children thrive on affectionate love. When babies receive food, nappy changes and little else, they die. If they receive partial attention and stay alive, it is still not enough—they won’t reach their full potential.
Babies do best when given copious amounts of physical and emotional affection. They thrive when at least one person thinks the sun rises and sets with them.
Hugs enhance the production of oxytocin, a hormone important for creating loving and secure relationships. Physical touch is one of the most reliable ways to boost levels of oxytocin in the human body.
There are so many other wonderful benefits associated with oxytocin: improved sense of connection & bonding, increased mood, lower blood pressure, faster wound healing, reduced stress.
The above are just some of the magical properties that cuddles provide. We've had lots of rainy weather recently and spent lots of time as a family cuddling on the couch or in bed. Even if you know the science behind it all, cuddles are still bloody magic.
References: Gordon et al 2010; Light et al 2005; Faircloth (2014)