Closeness: The Best Part of Babywearing and Dancing
Babies respond positively to being held and feel soothed by touch physiologically and emotionally. Even young babies can feel the separation when away from someone they feel close to and feel safe when being comforted. Warm touches, the familiar smell of their mother or father, and hearing their mother or father’s voice helps them feel loved and safe. All of these factors help us to understand why babies who are worn regularly cry less.
Much like babies, children and adults also need physical closeness in their life. In today’s world adults experience more separation and less touch and closeness in their relationships and in their daily lives. As a parent, babywearing can be a wonderful opportunity for adults to bond with their babies. While some have suggested that holding a baby too often or for too long in their early years and making them attached toddlers will prevent them from becoming independent, the opposite seems to be true. As babies grow in an environment full of love, closeness, and communication, they become more independent and confident.
For a child, a nurturing touch also stimulates growth-promoting hormones, improves intellectual and motor development, and helps regulate babies’ temperature, heart rate, and sleep/wake patterns. Babies who receive a nurturing touch experience faster weight faster, are able to nurse better, and often cry less and are calmer. Cultures that include high incidences of physical affection including touch, holding, and carrying of children, experience lower rates of physical violence in adults.
Babywearing encourages neurological development by building in skin-to-skin and physical contact to sooth babies and help them feel physically and emotionally secure. Adding a dance element to babywearing can build in joyful communication and stimulation through movements that encourage physical closeness. Hugs, kisses, touches, holding hands, smelling baby’s head, murmuring the melody during the songs, sharing the beat of the music, and sharing in dance movements all act to reconnect carer and baby and reinforce attachment. Babywearing and dancing can also help infants and babies connect with other members of their family.
Dance with Babies®: The Babywearing Dance Book
Copyright © 2018 Paula Dumas and Selen Yilmaz
Published by Move by Selen Yilmaz Ltd.
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