Tuesday, August 3, 2010

cuddles from mom make braver babies

Yesterday, I took my two-year-old daughter over to a friend and her six-year-old son to attempt a playdate between the two, and an opportunity for my friend and I to talk a little. Despite the age difference, it went fairly well. He got to demonstrate several of his acrobatic feats, many of his favorite toys, books, and movies, and all the while he talked up a storm in his high-pitched voice while climbing sofas, shelves, kitchen counters and tables. I was amazed at his frenetic energy level, and how calm my friend stayed.

She, on the other hand, was impressed by my endurance when I told her about my daughter's frequent need to nurse and be near me, say in bed at night, or when I'm in the bathroom for my morning routine or in the kitchen cooking.

Yes, it really can get taxing to nurse a 2+ child, especially when she likes to twist herself around me as she pulls on a wad of my hair and moves her head in any and all directions while still sucking. But I also cherish our physical closeness, and with me as her harbor, she's always displayed a fearless sense of physical adventure when we're out and about and among others.

Now there's evidence that "Maternal affection - how much mom cuddles her baby- makes a big difference in how mentally stable that child will be later in life."

 (Photo: B. Coila)

A new study reported here in the examiner.com "looked at 482 people over 34 years and found that babies who received a high level of maternal affection had significantly lower rates of anxiety, hostility, and general distress when they grew up."

Furthermore, "a 2004 rat study in Nature Neuroscience introduced the concept that maternal affection changes the structure of DNA in the hippocampus of the brain. In that study, this change in the brain make the offspring braver and better protected from stress as adults."

"The take-home idea behind all of this is that moms may actually be changing their babies' brains for the better with every cuddle, hug, kiss and nuzzle. So don't worry about spoiling your baby with too much affection. Instead, remember that you're building baby's brain with every cuddle." (examiner.com)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...