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A cuddle a day

Everybody loves a cuddle, but new research has now proven that hugs are essential to a child’s emotional development.

A cuddle a day

Some social practices of modern life – such as leaving a baby to cry, reducing the time a baby is held (by leaving the baby in a bouncer/stroller/car seat, for example) and structured play – are preventing healthy brain and emotional development in children, according to research by Darcia Narvaez, professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, who specialises in moral cognition and development in children.

Narvaez’s study found that responding to a baby’s needs (not letting a baby “cry it out”) may influence the development of conscience; while positive touch affects stress reactivity, impulse control and empathy; free play in nature influences social capacities and aggression; and a set of supportive caregivers (beyond the mother alone) predicts IQ and ego resilience as well as empathy.

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