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Cuddling Baby Is Important

I went on a playdate with a local mommy group last week, and I noticed one little baby boy, cuddling contentedly against his Mama’s shoulder. You know the cuddle I mean, that perfect fit of a lovable baby’s head in the nook between your neck and shoulder. That’s how he was, and he was content to stay there for the duration of our play. It wasn’t until towards the end of the meet that he started socializing.

The thing is, my daughter doesn’t do that. The baby boy I’m referring to is about a week older than her. I was jealous and I’ve spent the past week trying to cuddle up to her or getting her to cuddle with me. All I get for my effort is my hair pulled or my face grabbed, and more often than not, her pushing me impatiently away. 🙁

Of course, saddened, I Googled “Why does my baby not like to cuddle?” Hey, Google is my personal researcher! I’m not surprised to have stumbled on studies after studies citing the importance of physical touch and cuddling for babies.

Apparently, it’s even more crucial for the first year of life. Research has shown that children who have been orphaned or abandoned and lacked that early parenting bonding exhibit strange social behaviors later in life, even if they had been adopted in otherwise healthy homes. And babies who’ve missed that cuddling experience have been found to have markedly lower levels of oxytocin and vasopressin. These hormones are thought to play key roles in stress and social behaviors. Lower levels may explain why these children have difficulties forming attachments in adulthood.

So maybe my baby is just independent, and eager to explore her surroundings. Maybe she’s got too much energy to just lay there in my arms, but I hope she grows to love cuddling soon. I’m not worried about her oxytocin or vasopressin levels; she gets plenty of physical touch and praise, but it would be nice if I didn’t get pushed away when trying to hug her!

Source: Daily Mail


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