Is there anything more tender or more reassuring for a baby than being hugged by mum or dad? Hugging gives peace, love and reassurance while defining the contours of the baby’s body. Being physically in contact with mum helps the baby become aware of his little body and gives him a profound sense of security, which is so important, especially during his first months of life. Do you remember the first time you embraced your newborn? Normally after birth, the midwife puts the baby in mum’s arms creating favourable circumstances for an intimate contact. This is an intense emotion for her, as the baby she has dreamed of for so long is now there with her. Sometimes it is dad who hugs the baby first, which is an extraordinairly moving experience, since these first hugs and cuddles are extremely important for the newborn.
With birth, the little one abandons warmth and containment of the uterus. For the past nine months, he has listened to his mum’s voice and heartbeat before approaching a new world. Then, without warning, he feels cold and frightened and his parents need assist him adapt to this enormous change. Hugging and cuddling babies is undoubtedly necessary not only after birth, but during early childhood too, no matter what friends or parents may advise. Feel free to hug your baby as much as you like. Take your baby in your arms whenever he cries, or simply whenever you desire to do so. Do not worry: he will not get bad habits. On the contrary, thanks to your love, he will learn to recognize the contours of his body while feeling loved and comforted when frightened, hungry, thirsty, or ill.
Hug your children whenever you like, show them your love, never mind if your mother-in-law says you are making a mistake, what a pleasure to answer her “you are wrong!”.
Translation by Laura Ciriani