If you ever wondered if you hug your kids enough, this study may change your mind.
According to new research, physical affection during a baby's development period plays a role in their brain growth. Simply put, the more you hug your baby, the more their brains grow.
The survey, done by the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio, explored 125 premature and full term babies, and their response to being physically touched.
The results indicated premature babies respond to affection less than babies who were born at full term, but babies who had direct skin-to-skin contact via a "gentle touch" had a stronger brain response. The researchers called the "intentional supportive touch" as being "absolutely crucial to babies' developing brains", as touch is one of the first senses that develop before hearing and sight.
By having that body contact with your baby has a big difference in how their brains develop, and is necessary for learning and social-emotional connections.
"Making sure that preterm babies receive positive, supportive touch such as skin-to-skin care by parents is essential to help their brains respond to gentle touch in ways similar to those of babies who experienced an entire pregnancy inside their mother's womb," lead author Dr Nathalie Matire said.