Nothing Better: The Science of Cuddles

 newborn sleeping on mother

“I love nothing more than to have Edison sleep on my chest.” It was a simple Facebook status update that got a lot of “likes.” What is NOT to like about a newborn sleeping across your chest? Bliss.

As I read this new mama's status update, I was easily transported to the early months of my daughter's life when I lounged in a recliner snuggling with my little girl.  At that moment, there was nothing I loved more. Having a newborn sleeping peacefully on you is pretty darn close to heaven.

The status update stuck with me and I thought there has to be more to it. What is this amazing feeling? Why does it occur?

As I guessed, there IS more to it. Snuggles with baby are not only one of parenthood's awesome rewards, cuddling with your little one is also good for them AND you.

Why?

Newborns are sometimes challenged to regulate their body temperature. Snuggling is a great way to help your newborn.  Laying your little one on your chest might just be the answer for physical comfort and care for them.

Studies have also indicated that young infants have more breastfeeding success when snuggled up on their mama. With the breast easily accessible, it's easy to understand that even the sleepiest of new mamas can pick up on their little one's cues of wanting to nurse as they see their infant root or nuzzle up against their mama's neck or on their chest.

And, of course, snuggles support bonding between parent and child. Simply relaxing with your little one is a great way to support the building of this new relationship. A bonus for you: when that little one snuggles on you, your body naturally releases endorphins, which fuel positive energy and emotions.

Snuggling, it's scientifically good. All of this from a friend's Facebook status. I have smart friends.

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Nothing Better: The Science of Cuddles

Jeannie Fleming-Gifford is a mama to one little lady, freelance writer, and the director of education for a non-profit community school of the arts. Graduating with a B.A. in Music and a M.A. in Child Development, Jeannie began her career in quality child development programs as a teacher, then moved into creative administrative roles with science centers, symphony orchestras and arts programs. Owner of 170+ year old house, Jeannie loves living in small town America where walks to the park and ... More

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5 comments

  1. Bree says:

    can’t wait to cuddle with our little Peanut 🙂

  2. JamJam says:

    cant wait to cuddle with my baby girl

  3. AmyC says:

    Looking forward to cuddling and snuggling. Just a bit over a month left to wait.

  4. the warm hugs and everything you do with your baby is a miracle and a blessing i love my princess and can’t wait to see her

  5. i can’t wait to see her

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