Magazine article Working Mother

Get in Touch, Baby

Magazine article Working Mother

Get in Touch, Baby

Article excerpt

Did you know that when you bounce your baby on your knee you build his body confidence? It's true. All sorts of touch and movement, from cuddling to pumping little arms and legs, are good for babies. But research shows that it's the more active, stimulating touching that particularly encourages your little one's physical self-esteem, says Sandra J. Weiss, PhD, RN, director of the child and family mental health nursing program at the University of California, San Francisco. One study conducted by Dr. Weiss found that when parents and their 7- and 8-year-olds interacted physically with strong intensity-bouncing around, roughhousing, making contact-there was a direct correlation between these parent-child connections and the kids feeling good about their bodies. "This kind of interaction gives kids a better sense of their bodies, leading to higher physical esteem," explains Dr. Weiss, "and the implications also hold for infants and babies."

For moms, the most typical type of touch is nurturing-as in kissing, hugging and stroking. While wonderful, this is more related to a child's social and emotional development. To nurture babies' body esteem and motor ability, along with cognitive skills, you may need to get even more physical. …

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