This past week one of my colleagues at Parents as Teachers (where I do some freelance work) was aglow over the news of a “miraculous” baby. The tiny boy was born prematurely and had been pronounced dead – but he was revived after being held in "kangaroo care" against his mom’s chest for a couple of hours, while doctors left her and her husband alone with him so they could grieve and say final farewells.
In fact, their doctor was so disbelieving that he wouldn’t return to check out the baby’s lifelike “reflexes.” The parents had to resort to deception to get him to come back and confirm that the boy was indeed alive.
The reason for my colleague’s jubilation is that she’s long been an advocate of the power of touch between parents and children, especially infant massage. There is growing evidence that because much of babies’ information during their first few months comes to them through their skin and mouths, touch is vital to their development.
My fellow blogger, Andrea Wilson, recently wrote a post on infant massage classes in the local area. This is one way to learn techniques for soothing touch and to gain confidence in your interactions with your baby. But you can also rely on your instincts to hold your little bundle of joy as often as possible. You can’t spoil young babies when you cuddle them – you’re only showing your love.
By Amy De La Hunt, Health Blogger for SmartParenting
Amy De La Hunt is a journalist and editor who lives in the St. Louis metro area and works across the country as a writer, copy editor, project manager and editorial consultant on everything from fiction books to monthly magazines to blog posts. When she's not chauffeuring her teenage sons to activities, Amy is an enthusiastic amateur cook, landscaper, Latin dancer and traveler. Follow Amy on Instagram @amy_in_words
The Saint Louis Chess Club is offering free group chess instruction to kids and teens at various branches of the St. Louis County Library.
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