Parents, no pressure, but the success of our future society depends on you!
New research points to cuddled children growing up to be healthier, less depressed, kinder, more empathetic, and more productive adults.
According to a WSBT report, "snuggles matter."
The new research from Notre Dame Psychologist Darcia Narvaez studied more than 600 adults and found those who were cuddled as children grew into more well-adjusted adults with less anxiety and better mental health.
The study found that, along with cuddling, a positive childhood with lots of affection and quality time also led to healthier adults with better coping skills.
The research will soon be featured in the journal Applied Developmental Science.
Much research has already been done on the effects of how cuddling helps preemies, and now that researchers are seeing benefits all the way up to adulthood, it just goes to show what the Beatles knew all along - all you need is love.
Pediatrician Dr. Armeet Singh from the Unitypoint Clinic in Bettendorf suggests that showing love and affection to your upset infant is also developmentally critical, because it lays the foundation to a strong relationship.
"The first four to six months of life for babies , that is one of the most important times for babies to develop that special bonding with their parents and their primary caregivers. Now those are the times where definitely we encourage families that at any point of time they are crying, they are looking for somebody to help them out we need to respond to that."
This research also puts an end to an age-old debate - you may now tell your mother-in-law that you can't "spoil" your baby by picking them up when they cry.
In fact, Narvaez tells WSBT that not only is it impossible to spoil a baby, you will actually "ruin" the baby's development by letting it cry.
"What parents do in those early months and years are really affecting the way the brain is going to grow the rest of their lives, so lots of holding, touching and rocking, that is what babies expect. They grow better that way. And keep them calm, because all sorts of systems are establishing the way they are going to work. If you let them cry a lot, those systems are going to be easily triggered into stress. We can see that in adult hood, that people that are not cared for well, tend to be more stress reactive and they have a hard time self calming," said Narvaez.
So, parents, snuggle away! Your child - and the world - will thank you later.