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Touch in early brain development

By 06/11/2017Blog, News

It’s hard to resist a video like this. But beyond being deliciously cute, most people rarely give a second thought to the incredible work that mums and dads do when they interact with their babies in this way.

“Important” knowledge and breakthroughs about infant and early brain development, are most often associated with expensive research, books and parenting experts.

But as it turns out, the tiny, heart-melting interactions like that happening between @minitiebrown and her baby, serve a critical function in early brain and social development.

Gentle, respectful touch and skin-to-skin contact in infancy has a profound effect on a baby’s physiological functions – their heart rate, their breathing and their internal regulation. This helps keep babies in a calm state.

But what is also amazing, is that research shows how these tiny touches and connections also help communicate emotion and meaning to a baby: you are safe, you are loved, you are here with me. It’s this capacity of gentle touch – to provide physical regulation and emotional meaning – that forms the basis of our brain development: particularly the parts of our brain involved in social interaction, anxiety regulation and empathy.

Promoting early development and giving our babies the essential foundations for life-long social and emotional health is not something that is beyond most parents.

It’s right at their fingertips.

To learn more about the role of parent’s touch in human development, take our free online course!

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