Touch is critical to our well-being. In fact, it is so important that all our other senses rely on the sense of touch for their growth and development. Much is transmitted through a touch: calm, comfort, and communication. A touch is worth a thousand words. Touch nourishes babies like water nourishes a plant. Touch is truly life giving. Babies who are touched thrive; touch is their lifeline. Touch is literally our first language.
We are each truly unique. We have a unique fingerprint, a unique smell (called a chemical signature), a unique sound (our voice), and a unique touch. Your baby can tell your touch from someone else’s. In fact, there are cultures that believe a baby receives different qualities and benefits from a father’s touch than from a mother’s -touch is that unique.
Always remember that your touch, your voice, your chemical signature are all more comforting to your baby than anyone else’s. Ashley Montague, the well – known anthropologist who wrote the ground breaking book “Touching”, states that the human baby is about 3 months short of the gestational development of all other mammals. However, if a human baby waited another 3 months, the head would be too large to go through the birth canal. Not to mention that it would also be very hard on a human mom to be pregnant that long!
This ‘gestational shortfall’ if your will, makes human babies the most helpless mammal at birth. They are totally dependent on their parents for survival. It’s why the first 3 month period is sometimes called the 4th trimester… and these months are crucial for development. When you stroke your babies skin, messages are sent to their brain via the nervous system that tell the brain to release growth and development hormones. Also released are the hormones for relaxation and well-being, to the message is- touch away!!!