Confirmed by Science: Hugs from Parents Are the Best Relaxant for Babies

Hugs from parents are essential when it comes to transmitting security, love, and tranquility to babies. Find out more!
Confirmed by Science: Hugs from Parents Are the Best Relaxant for Babies

Last update: 30 September, 2021

Close contact is one of the most important building blocks for a baby’s physical and mental development. Because of this, hugs from parents are essential for their well-being.

The time little ones spend in the arms if their parents transmits comfort, affection, and security to them. In addition, it works as a therapeutic interaction that generates tranquility and helps them overcome moments of distress or anguish.

This was demonstrated by a scientific study carried out by 6 Japanese researchers and published in the journal iScience. In this study, the behavior of children under one year of age when being hugged by their parents and strangers was examined.

A black and white image of a newborn lying on its mother's chest.

The analysis found that babies older than 4 months had a slower heart rate when they received a hug from their parents. Because of this, the study revealed that this bond produces a sense of relaxation for them that’s unbeatable.

More findings regarding hugs from parents

In babies younger than 4 months, the researchers observed that adequate pressure during contact helps infants avoid having an agitated heart rate. This is because they perceive that someone is in charge of protecting them and they’re not defenseless.

However, researchers also found that babies don’t experience the same results when a stranger holds them. So, the researchers stated that children recognize their parents and feel relief when they are resting in their arms.

In addition, this affection isn’t only beneficial for children. The scientists also discovered that parents also experience a period of unique fullness when embracing their children.

This is how science confirms that hugs from parents strengthen relationships with children and prepare them for the interpersonal bonds they’ll have in the future.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.