Hugging | Why it is necessary and good for your child

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  December 30, 2020

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Cuddling is nice. But did you know that cuddling is also a necessary necessity of life for every person? And even more, that cuddling is even healthy for you ?!

Some scientists say that hugging is so important to a human that it might be worth selling it as a service.

Ever heard of a professional hugger? Does this sound strange to you?

6 main reasons cuddling is good for you

Then you should definitely read this article to find out why giving a hug, for all of us, satisfies an essential human need and is incredibly important to our health. 

The more cuddling the better!

You can cuddle with someone in different ways. Even if you have a full schedule, put the quick kiss aside and hug your partner or child! It can also be your grandmother, girlfriend, brother or sister.

You can give a strong hug, a gentle pat or a big kiss, it doesn't really matter how you do it. As long as you cuddle a lot and often. And then preferably 20 seconds! Because the longer you cuddle someone, the better it is for you and the person being hugged.

Cuddling is experienced as a pleasant body contact by both parties and puts the source of the hugging hormone in your body to work.

The longer you cuddle someone, the longer your brain is stimulated to produce this hugging hormone. You can also cuddle with your pet, which has the same effect!

More cuddling therefore means more of the cuddly hormone oxytocin in your blood. This hormone turns out to be good for many things in your body. 

Cuddling is good for your health

Cuddling has numerous benefits for human health in the broadest sense of the word.

Then we do not want to say that cuddling is an instant remedy for a severe flu, but cuddling undoubtedly contributes to the mental and physical well-being of people: It is a kind of medicine.

Firstly, a hug brings an instant smile to someone's face.

And the joy that comes with this in itself has many positive effects on the human body.

hugging why hugging is good for you

The benefits of cuddling at a glance

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Some of the benefits that cuddling brings are:

The value of the cuddle hormone 

The scientific description of the hug hormone is as follows: oxytocin is a neurotransmitter that acts on the limbic system.

This is the emotional center of the brain where feelings of satisfaction and the reduction of anxiety are stimulated. 

In less scientific terms we can say that the oxytocin hormone is of great importance in human needs such as attachment and trust.

The hormone is also essential for feelings of connection, love, romance, friendship and happiness.

The production of the hugging hormone oxytocin by giving a hug is in principle the answer to reducing or counteracting feelings of loneliness, fear and insecurity.

By giving someone a hug you break emotional blockages, intense tension and show how much you care about the person.

You create a familiar environment in which the person feels comfortable and can communicate with you openly and easily.

By giving hugs you create a familiar and intimate bond with someone, a deep connection. 

Read also: playing outside in a digital age, that's how you stimulate playing outside

Cuddle with your kids

Especially when you have children, giving hugs is extremely important.

Some people who were not hugged much as a child find it difficult to give hugs themselves. They have difficulty cuddling with their own children.

Without physical contact, we become chilly inside, so babies who are not cuddled enough develop less well.

They grow worse, they have learning problems more often, they find it more difficult to put themselves in another position and are more often ill.

Start before birth

You can cuddle a baby before it is born by stroking its tummy. Did you know that before the fetus can perceive light and sound, it already feels mom's every movement with the skin?

The baby's sense of touch is the first sense to develop in the womb!

It's also nice for the mom, she also releases so much oxytocin. This makes her want to hold her baby frequently after delivery. 

Immediately after birth, the baby is already placed on mum's bare skin. Mom's heartbeat, voice and scent gives the baby a sense of security, calms him down and mom's body regulates his temperature.

When the baby is cold, the mother warms up and warms it up and vice versa.

Why do newborns like to be held?

A newborn's sense of warmth and desire to stay warm can be one reason why they often want to be held by their parents.

It is normal for babies to prefer the warmth and security of their parent or caregiver's arms.

In addition, the baby can still experience the Moro reflex, which causes legs and arms to move wildly when not held.

Stuffed animal

Not only cuddling with mom or dad, but stuffed animals are also more important than you think. They provide comfort and safety for children.

With a cuddly toy nearby, a child often sleeps more peacefully and deeper.

By the way, did you know that you should wash your favorite cuddly toy as little as possible? The 'own' smell of the cuddly toy plays an important role, especially with babies.

Here Kind en Gezin looks at the importance of stuffed animals for your child:

Make your baby cry?

It used to be assumed that a baby was too spoiled if you took him in your arms too often. That is not right, babies under six months cannot be pampered.

The baby sat safely in his mom's womb for nine months and suddenly ended up in the outside world.

Babies really need skin contact, rocking and cuddling to be able to process everything. Even after six months, by the way.

You can learn to cuddle

But this does not mean that they will never learn to do this. Experts say you should just do it more often, even if you're not used to cuddling at all.

The discomfort really only lasts for a moment and will pass on its own. Before you know it you will be 'high' on the hugs and you will be the biggest hugger. 

Close to the mother with a hug

Children naturally have the urge to be close to their parents and are often much like an extension of their mother's body.

Wherever the mother goes, the little one will follow automatically.

Mommies, you know you're not even safe in the toilet from those stickers.

This all has to do with the connection that arises in the womb and as soon as the child is applied to the breast at birth.

Also cuddle with the father

These are the first hugs that a mother and child, as it were, share with each other. Your children will therefore want to cuddle with the mother on their own.

Fathers, on the other hand, don't have it that easy from the start, but can undoubtedly give a lot of hugs and get hugs back. 

This is also very important to create a close bond with the child.

Cuddling is a symbol of love and connection

Giving a hug to your child means a lot to your child. It symbolizes many things. In the eyes of your child, getting a hug means the following:

with cuddling you create a close bond with your child

The need to cuddle develops along with the child

During their development, the need to cuddle in children gradually diminishes as they grow tall and independent.

Can you hug your child too much?

Hugging helps children develop independence.

Research shows that parents cannot pamper their babies and young children simply because they are showing too much love or spending too much time on their well-being.

A baby or child needs to feel safe, cared for and loved!

How many hugs per day does a child need?

In fact, there is no limit to the number of hugs. Renowned family therapist Virginia Satir once said, “We need four hugs a day to survive.

Eight hugs for maintenance and to grow we need at least twelve hugs a day.

But now that you know the importance of cuddling and how extremely important it is, we do think that a mandatory hug in your child's teens every now and then isn't too much to ask for.

Personally, we think that if you start hugging your kids a lot early, the hugging will never really stop. No matter how big and cocky they get.

Your children will experience for themselves, without knowing why it is good for them, how pleasant it is to cuddle with you.

And should they ever forget, you are there to remind them. For example, by giving them a firm hug, or with a gentle pat on the head or a big kiss. 

Read also: strollers reviewed everything from 3 in 1 to twins and triplets

Cuddling is important for health 

You may never have to hire someone to give you a hug or be hugged, that might be a bit too far.

However, it has been proven that cuddling is so important that it can be considered a form of therapy.

Hugging helps to reduce and in some cases even cure mental and physical disorders.

In short, science has proven that cuddling is essential for our physical well-being, but also our mental well-being.

We need hugs to be healthy! The great thing about this form of therapy is: hugs are almost always available and they don't cost you anything.

So why wouldn't we want to give or receive more hugs? 

Go cuddling

In any case, we hope that after reading this information about cuddling, you will cuddle a lot more.

Be sure to give extra hugs to your loved ones and your children in particular. This lovely way will keep them healthy and you will undoubtedly benefit greatly from them too.

Lees meer: handy sleep training for your baby & toddler for a good night's sleep

with cuddling you create a close bond with your child

The need to cuddle develops along with the child

During their development, the need to cuddle in children gradually diminishes as they grow tall and independent.

Can you hug your child too much?

Hugging helps children develop independence.

Research shows that parents cannot pamper their babies and young children simply because they are showing too much love or spending too much time on their well-being.

A baby or child needs to feel safe, cared for and loved!

How many hugs per day does a child need?

In fact, there is no limit to the number of hugs. Renowned family therapist Virginia Satir once said, “We need four hugs a day to survive.

Eight hugs for maintenance and to grow we need at least twelve hugs a day.

But now that you know the importance of cuddling and how extremely important it is, we do think that a mandatory hug in your child's teens every now and then isn't too much to ask for.

Personally, we think that if you start hugging your kids a lot early, the hugging will never really stop. No matter how big and cocky they get.

Your children will experience for themselves, without knowing why it is good for them, how pleasant it is to cuddle with you.

And should they ever forget, you are there to remind them. For example, by giving them a firm hug, or with a gentle pat on the head or a big kiss. 

Read also: strollers reviewed everything from 3 in 1 to twins and triplets

Cuddling is important for health 

You may never have to hire someone to give you a hug or be hugged, that might be a bit too far.

However, it has been proven that cuddling is so important that it can be considered a form of therapy.

Hugging helps to reduce and in some cases even cure mental and physical disorders.

In short, science has proven that cuddling is essential for our physical well-being, but also our mental well-being.

We need hugs to be healthy! The great thing about this form of therapy is: hugs are almost always available and they don't cost you anything.

So why wouldn't we want to give or receive more hugs? 

Go cuddling

In any case, we hope that after reading this information about cuddling, you will cuddle a lot more.

Be sure to give extra hugs to your loved ones and your children in particular. This lovely way will keep them healthy and you will undoubtedly benefit greatly from them too.

Lees meer: handy sleep training for your baby & toddler for a good night's sleep

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child, he came into contact with everything around games when his mother started the Tin Soldier in Ede. Since 2016, he and his team have been creating helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.