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Touch is your baby's Love Language

You may have heard of the 5 love languages or read the book of the same name by Dr. Chapman who coined the 5 love languages in which people might respond to. He understood through his work with couples that when each partner has a different 'love language' that is not shared or shown by the other partner, problems can arise.

It is only by understanding the 'love language' of the people we are with and responding to their needs, that true harmony can exist. Rather than acting in a way that we would like ourselves, we need to understand the way in which our partner 'speaks and feels' love.

Well these 5 love languages are too complex when it comes to children, but I have coined my own.

Touch is your babies love language.
Play is your toddler's love language.

Harry Harlow was one of the first to do some (quite controversial) experiments in to affection and attachment and the devastating effects of neglect and deprivation.

In his famous 'Wire Mother Experiment', baby monkeys were given the choice of having

  1. A wire mother who provided food (via a bottle attached to the wire mother monkey).

  2. A wire mother covered in soft fabric, that had no nourishment at all.

He found that baby monkeys would always take preference of comfort and touch from the 'soft, warm' mother over the the wire mother with the food. He found that they would look to her for comfort and security. This signified that affection and touch were the main drivers and motivators for very young monkeys - even above the need or desire for food.

Your baby’s brain is building millions of connections every second. When they are held or being touched they feel the safety that they felt in the womb.

Their central nervous system is regulated.

They learn that the feeling of love and safety comes from being close. Being touched. Being held.

Hormones such as oxytocin are released (not only in baby but in you too), your pupils dilate and you feel flooded with a sense of love and calm.

Parenting is hard. And sometimes WE need space. Because of this society has developed some, quite frankly, damaging advice - which is that by NOT touching, holding, responding or picking up your baby you will be doing them good. This is not backed by research or fact.

If you need a break, I understand. I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND...That is another blog post entirely. But your baby does not need to be left to cry to become 'independent' or 'resilient'. The opposite actually happens.

So, if you need permission to keep sitting on the sofa and holding that baby- this is it!


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