Why is touch so important to an infant? Skin-to-skin contact allows for certain exchanges between parent and baby hormonal, scents, antibodies, etc. This also allow the mother’s body to act as an “incubator” and adjust its temperature based on the needs of the baby, thus regulating the baby’s temperature. It can also regulate baby’s heartbeat for the same reason. Oxytocin is also released, which is a hormone also referred to as the “love drug”, and helps you and baby to bond more deeply. As is prolactin, which produces milk, thus increasing chances for breastfeeding success. All of this through simple touch. Aren’t our bodies incredible?
What are the benefits of babywearing? For babies, being cocooned in a baby sling, wrap or carrier will remind them of being in the womb. They are fully supported, enclosed and warm, and they can hear your heartbeat and the rhythm of your breath, much like being back in the womb. When awake, babies can take in the world with a “quiet alertness”. This means that with no stress, no adrenaline or cortisol flooding the system, they are more able to learn and take things in, and the “building blocks” in their brain are able to be built more easily. This in itself means that they show better hormonal responses to stress and better thinking skills later on in life.
How do you think our current situation (lockdown and social distancing) might impact on our babies? Babies will be fine as long as they have their basic needs met. Babies need security, touch, warmth, and nourishment. And the great thing is that this probably means that they get even more of mummy and daddy than they normally do! It’s important to focus on self-care for parents, because if you are ok, then baby will thrive. What are you doing to make sure that you are going to come out of this lockdown, emotionally healthy? Can you spend more time in the garden or is there a park nearby? Can you carve out time for yourself every day?
Any advice for parents wanting to lessen the impact that social distancing might have on their young children? I think young people are hit just as hard as us but in different ways - for us we have had to mentally and physically adjust our entire lifestyles, but we have the advantage of knowing why we are doing so. Our little ones may not be able to connect the logic to their feelings. And human touch and skin to skin contact is so important to both babies and kids. All we can do, in this time of uncertainty, is keep their emotional “cup filled”, ie make sure we are giving them all the affection that they would be receiving from elsewhere too! Cuddle them through the uncertainty and the explanations, the missing other loved ones, and the frustrations. And let’s be honest - the cuddles will probably be pretty helpful for your own physical and mental health too.
Find beautiful soft, cocooning Amawraps at amawrap.com