Skin on skin is the best way to make those hormones really surge.
What are some of the wonderful things that happen when you carry your baby snuggled in nice and firmly in a Hug-a-Bub?
Well, for a start carrying your baby provides the elements of pressure, motion, warmth, security and sound that is essential to the development of the vestibular nervous system. This is the system that teaches us where we are in space, which is necessary for us to learn to crawl and walk.
The development of motor skills is all predicated on the development of a strong working vestibular nervous system.
Your baby is calmer. Quite simply the stress hormones and adrenalin so obviously present in a bawling baby lying in a pram or on a floor can be lowered almost immediately by picking your baby up and wrapping them tightly to you. The organic cotton used in Hug-a-Bub is not too stretchy to facilitate that feeling of security and being held tight.
Babies feel loved. This feeling of being loved comes from a sense that mum is attuned to baby's needs. The cues and signals are heard and seen and acted upon. It's important to ensure baby's face is never covered for safety reasons but equally, so baby can feel, see and respond to mum's words and sing song voice (Darwin called this voice "Motherease")
Babies who are touched continuously may develop larger brains than babies denied stimulation. Lots to process when baby is touched and talked to.
Bonding and attachment is better when babies are carried, and it works both ways. Carrying your baby is good for you too, and can ward off post natal depression.
Babies settle down to sleep better. Getting baby to sleep is often fraught, and research shows that a baby who is carried falls asleep quickly - probably as a result of feeling totally secure in a tight embrace. We all know how good a hug feels!
Babies who are carried are active participants in their parents lives. With the comfort and security of being near their protectors, babies are so happy to be in the action.
Baby carrying and that skin to skin contact stimulates the brain, particularly in the speech, language development and cognition areas.
Hug-a-Bub encourages babies' muscle and balance development - the upright position engages the core muscles and encourages movement of the head and neck.
Babies who are carried can smell and feel their carer, this is so important for future self-reliance as the baby trusts that their parent is near and attentive, and thus feels confident to explore their world little by little. They open up like a flower.
Finally, baby carrying makes mums and dads feel more competent and nurturing. We all love to feel good at something.
Isn't it wonderful that the simple act of carrying your baby in a Hug-a-Bub can achieve this?