The Power of Hugs on Your Brain

Huggies

This post was sponsored by Huggies.

A couple weeks ago, I traveled to Chicago to attend the Annual Huggies Parent Council. Joining a group of influencers along with fantastic representatives from Huggies, we spent an amazing 24 hours chatting about babies, finding out the power of hugs on your brain, discussing the cultural impact of diaper need, learning the science behind a better baby wipe and hearing more about the fantastic things that Huggies is doing for the tiniest ones in our society.

One of the most powerful things I learned during my brief trip was about the power of hugs on your brain, which is what inspires Huggies in everything they do. Huggies is so much more than just a diaper company. They are looking out for our littlest family members. They are creating products that essentially are like giving your baby a “hug” every time you put one on. A hug right around the middle to show that you care and you want your baby dry and healthy.

If you think about it, diapering is so much more than just putting on a diaper. Diapers are not only an essential for baby, but it’s one of the closest things to baby’s skin.

Let’s talk about hugs for a minute. Who doesn’t feel a little better after a nice, big hug? No matter how bad your day is going, a hug (even a tiny one!) just makes things a little bit better. But why, you may ask?

It’s actual science. There are scientific benefits to hugging. Dr. William Sears shared four different benefits to hugging at our event. Hugs can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, boost the immune system and increase oxytocin. Not only that, but hugs especially help children by creating stronger family connections, assisting in their growth and making them less prone to illness. With all these amazing benefits, why wouldn’t we hug our babies and children all day long?

Sure, you are probably saying to yourself, “How do we know that hugs are making a difference?” Great question. I saw the effect of hugs on myself and others inside the brain at the event. Yep, Dr. Olivier Oullier, a behavioral and neuroscientist, spoke to us about the science behind the effects of a hug. Without getting too scientific on you, Oullier hooked me up to a head device that reads frequencies in the brain and showed me first hand how a hugs effects my brain.

It. Was. Crazy.

The device on my head was showing the video of inside my brain on the screen behind me. See how calm my brain looks?
Effect of hugs

Yes, a look inside my brain and seeing it get all fired up during a hug was pretty powerful.

This is what happened to my brain when hugging.

Effects of Hugs

I hug my kids a lot. I always have even before I knew the benefits of hugging. I just knew that it always made everyone feel better and that started with day one when they were born.

Here is a photo of my youngest son and I in the hospital just hours after he was born…

Newborn

Here is a current photo 8 years later with hugging still a priority…

Huggies

I’ve been doing good things for his brain this entire time with all my hugging from the first day of his tiny little life wearing nothing but a Huggies premie diaper to today when he fills a little more of my hug.

Your baby needs hugs to thrive! Huggies has shown me that the simple, loving act of hugging represents more than a nurturing cuddle but it also produces tangible, neurological effects and is proven to support babies’ emotional and physiological development.

Next time you think that the natural act of hugging is just calming or soothing your crying baby, remember the photo of inside the brain. Hugs can help keep a baby’s heart beating at a normal and constant rate, improve sleep, support healthy weight gain and lead to an improved parent-baby relationship.

Speaking of the parent-baby relationship, there are more ways to bond with your baby (besides hugging, of course) that you can do with each simple diaper change. Initially, you’ll change up to 12 diapers a day, so that’s 12 chances to connect and bond with your baby.

Here are some simple ways to do that from the “Diapering that Nurtures Your Baby” booklet from Healthy Mom & Baby, which includes key pointers from Every Change Matters, the first diapering review that provides clinical insights within the context of skin and development care, authored by the Huggies Nursing Advisory Council:

  1. Make Each Change a Sensory Symphony. Using your soft voice, gentle touch and slow and careful movement, your baby will be calmed by our presence.
  2. Smile at Baby. Since babies love to look at and interact with others, make an emotional connection with baby and create a calm and happiness as you gaze into your baby’s eyes.
  3. Regularly Hug, Touch and Love Your Baby. Your touch, hugs, and cuddles help your baby thrive and enhance their overall physical growth and development.
  4. Your Gentle Care During Diapers Reassures and Calms Baby. Your gentle touch and focused attention are what baby needs to flourish so don’t be shy with the hugs before each diaper change.
  5. Being Mindful During Diapering Instills A Sense of Peaceful Intent. Our world is already too rushed, take your time during each diaper change and connect with your baby in a mindful, caring way.

Now, let’s all go and Hug. All. The. Babies.

And, be sure to share this post and visit Huggies.com to get $2 off a pack of Huggies Little Snugglers Diapers.

Huggies – the fastest growing diaper brand in U.S. hospitals – believes deeply in the Power of Hugs, which is why every diaper and wipe is inspired by a parent’s embrace. The Huggies No Baby Unhugged program helps ensure all babies get the hugs they need to thrive by supporting hugging programs in hospitals and donating diapers across the country. Learn how you can help at Huggies.com/NoBabyUnhugged. #HuggiesCouncil #ad

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Baby Gizmo founder Hollie Schultz is the proud mom of three adorable kids. This certified CPS (Child Passenger Safety) Tech and baby gear expert is the host of the Baby Gizmo video reviews giving moms the inside look at baby products before they purchase them. Hollie is also the co-author of The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide. A former resident of Los Angeles, she and her family now live in North Carolina where she is having a blast designing and decorating her new home.

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