A baby’s first experience with the surrounding environment occurs through touch, developing prenatally as early as 16 weeks. This sense is essential to children’s growth of physical abilities, language and cognitive skills, and social-emotional competency. Touch not only impacts short-term development during infancy and early childhood, but also has long-term effects, suggesting the power of positive, gentle touch from birth. Through this contact, newborns are able to learn about their world, bond with their caregiver, and communicate their needs and wants. After all, 80% of a baby’s communication is expressed through body movement.1 When parents engage in appropriate touch, young children have improved chances to successfully develop socially, emotionally, and intellectually.
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