Mother and Baby

Why Your Baby Responds Positively To Gentle Touch

Your baby actually shows physical changes when he’s enjoying positive contact

Time for a real ‘aww’ story. Your baby shows positive physical changes when he’s touched in a gentle way, according to new research.

A team at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Germany wanted to test the theory that our bodies’ response to pleasant sensations starts when we’re babies.

It looked at how a group of nine month olds responded to being stroked on their arms with the bristles of a paintbrush at three different speeds.

The babies’ heart rate slowed down in response to the medium speed, suggesting they felt relaxed and soothed by it.

The babies’ heart rate slowed down in response to the medium speed, suggesting they felt relaxed and soothed by it

The super-interesting bit? There seemed to be a correlation between mum and baby. Basically, the more touch-sensitive the parents themselves admitted to being, the more their babies’ heart rate slowed with the gentle brush bristles.

The German researchers speculate this is either because the babies are influenced by the care given to them, or that it’s down to a genetic link between how both are affected by touch.

Either way, it’s a brilliant insight into the science behind bonding – the team believe this sensitivity kicking in so early is all about boosting that connection with you and your baby.

How do you enjoy skin-to-skin with your baby? Let us know on the comments board below.

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