The Power of Hugs for Babies
Huggies® has always believed in the power of hugs and skin-to-skin contact for newborns which is why we’re educating new moms and families on the benefits of skin-to-skin for infants.
What is skin-to-skin?
Skin-to-skin is the practice of hugging and holding your newborn baby, clad only in a diaper, against your bare chest. In the hours, days and weeks after birth, it’s one of the most valuable gifts that you can give your child.
Ways skin-to-skin can help newborn babies
Over 600 medical studies on the effects of human touch are proving what moms have always known – hugs are important. They are vital to the healthy development of your child and the benefits of human touch for babies often extends throughout childhood.
The physiological and psychological benefits of skin-to-skin hugging for a newborn infant can include:
- More stable heart rate
- Improved oxygen levels
- More stable body temperature
- Improved pain tolerance
- Improved sleep
- Faster weight gain
- Healthier brain development
The world’s First Hug Plan
In 2016, Huggies® launched the world’s first Hug Plan, which was developed based on scientific research by medical experts to promote the physiological and psychological benefits of skin-to-skin for a newborn baby.
The Hug Plan acts as an extension of mom’s existing birth plan to help her maximize the opportunities for skin-to-skin hugging with her baby immediately after birth. Much like a birth plan, the Hug Plan helps parents outline their skin-to-skin care preferences post-birth to ensure their baby receives the hugs they need to thrive!
Visit nobabyunhugged.ca and click on The Power of Hugs tab to download the Hug Plan for free and learn more about the power of touch.
Tips on maximizing skin-to-skin at home
After you’ve planned and enjoyed your first hugs with baby at the hospital, the hugs don’t stop there! It’s time to take baby home and maximize that skin-to-skin time throughout the first months:
How to Practice Skin-to-Skin at Home:
- Ideally, sit upright in a rocking chair or regular chair
- Remove your bra and wear a blouse or shirt that opens in the front
- Place your baby on your bare chest in an upright position, wearing only a diaper
- Cover your baby with your shirt, gown or a blanket
- Let your baby rest; this is not a time to play with your baby
- Now, simply relax and enjoy this unique bonding experience
- The great news is that new dads can provide skin-to-skin hugs to their babies too – the more hugs the better!
When to Practice Skin-to-Skin:Moms should hold their baby’s like this as much as possible and continue to practice skin-to-skin until baby actively appears to push away, which often begin to occur after 6-8 weeks. Ideal times include:
- Before, during or after feeding: Breastfeeding is great skin-to-skin time, and if you’re bottle-feeding, hold your bare baby close to your bare chest.
- After bath time: When baby is already relaxed and you’re winding down from the day.
- Before or after diaper changes: The average child has more than 10,000 diaper changes in their lifetime – that’s 10,000 opportunities for hugs! During this time, baby is already unclothed and is a special time for parent and baby, making it the perfect opportunity to maximize hug time.
Huggies® No Baby Unhugged Initiative
In 2015, Huggies® launched No Baby Unhugged, an initiative to help ensure all babies get the hugs they need, even when moms can’t be there to give them. As part of this initiative, Huggies® provides funding to facilitate volunteer hugging programs in Canadian hospitals, in partnership with the Canadian Association of Pediatric Health Centres (CAPHC), that helps babies get the hugs they need, especially when mom can’t be there. The initiative provides funding to Canadian hospitals. To-date, Huggies® has partnered with Cape Breton Regional Hospital (Sydney, Nova Scotia), Southlake Regional Health Centre (Newmarket, Ontario) and Victoria General Hospital (Victoria, British Columbia), with a commitment to continuing to fund hugging programs in additional hospitals across Canada.
Visit nobabyunhugged.ca to show your support for hugs by becoming a No Baby Unhugged mom. When you do, you’ll receive a free pack of Huggies® diapers for your newborn (while supplies last) and in return, Huggies® will donate $5 to the No Baby Unhugged initiative!