The Importance of Touch, Part 2
How best to bring about a happy infant? I encourage churches to promote holding and cuddling of infants. Babies have historically been held close by their parents for millennia; this allows the infant to observe what his parents are doing and assures him that he is safe. A stroller, a bouncer seat, and all other infant paraphernalia do not bring the same reassurance, though they may temporarily quiet down an infant. .
Why do babies want to be held and comforted so frequently? Young babies do not realize that they are a separate individual from their caregiver. They are convinced Baby and Caregiver make one person.
Babies want to be in community with us. They want to be involved in the activity of the day. They want to be talked to and held. They want you to make silly faces and use silly voices to entertain them.
To an infant, touch is the physical equivalent of saying “I love you”. Babies do no better in isolation than do children, teenagers or grownups.