Haptic (from the Greek hapto -. Touch, grab) – sensing system that includes all types of skin reception. Thus, haptic communication – is expressing your thoughts and attitude by means of a touch of various types.
Researches Confirm the Benefits of the Touch
It’s interesting: the multiple studies confirm the importance of physical contact: it turns out those children, who are touched often and with love, grow and develop much better. At this point, massage, daily bathing, swimming lessons, physical education, and other elements of haptic communication have huge importance, because all these actions are directly related to touch and focused on skin-to-skin contact, which is the real engine of growth for children.
A haptic communication stimulates the production of substances in the child’s body, which accelerate the development of the child. Experienced specialists know that premature babies gain weight faster when they get traditional methods of nursing combined with thoughtful touches of nurses or parents.
It is interesting: the zoo psychologists also established a link between the mothers’ licking of her cubs and the rate of their development. Conversely, when babies or cubs are deprived of maternal touch, their growth, surprisingly, immediately slows down. The main conclusion was made: gentle and caring touch, as the element of haptic communication, stimulates growth and development. Parents, touching the baby, stimulate the generation of growth hormone in the baby’s body.
What does Haptic Communication do?
Touch stimulates the development of the infant’s nervous system (brain). Physical contact (haptic communication) stimulates nerve impulses, the formation of new intercellular relations that provides timely emergence of neurological function, positively influences a baby’s mental development.
A touch improves digestion and work of a gastroenteritis tract. Children whose tummies get stroked or massaged regularly, who are taken in hands, have improved motility of their gastrointestinal tract, cramps are observed rarely. If your baby suffers from cramps or colic, massage helps to significantly reduce the pain.
A touch improves a child’s behavior and his self-sense. It’s amazing, but the child who gets haptic communication from his parents feels much better. It means that it’s much easier for a mother to handle such a child: he establishes a better and faster more organized regime, sleeps well, is less capricious, and is more willing to go for contact with strangers. Mother’s touch gives him a sense of calm and confidence.
When the mother touches the child, the child feels self-importance and realizes that he is loved – thus one of his most basic needs is completely satisfied.
The touch helps shy and reserved babies to overcome some internal barrier that prevents them from expressing emotions. After a while, even the restrained child will give signals of his positive emotions, if he is regularly taken by hands, stroked, or massaged.
Read more on how to raise a baby through haptic communication: How to Love Your Child?
How does Haptic Communication help Parents?
When the lack of maternal feelings gets a woman to depression, it’s recommended to increase the haptic communication with the child as one of the most effective ways to wake these tender feelings.
So, the mother involuntarily communicates closely with her newborn baby, listening to the baby’s and her own feelings. And after seven-ten days, through a course of preventive massage for example, which she performs, she can discover how full she is of warm and tender feelings to the baby.
Frequent touching and massage are very useful for those mothers who have difficulty in demonstrating the mother’s feelings to the baby.
Massage, stroking, just carrying a baby in arms are the most basic kinds of haptic contact that may be used at any time. Taking the baby by the hands, a woman concentrates and becomes disconnected from other thoughts, but those about the baby.
For fathers, the ability to maintain physical contact with the child will be a practical course of communication with the baby. It‘s very important for children to feel not only the mother’s touch but also that of the father.
Any action – change of the diaper, walking, swimming, massage, charging, feeding – it’s always a dialogue, not just performance of mechanical actions or parental responsibilities. And through this dialog, your attitude to the child is expressed. So put your maximum tenderness and care to make your baby happy with your touch.
Born in Belarus, 1985, a pedagogue and family psychologist, mother. Taking part in procedures of social adaptation of the foster children in new families. Since 2015 is a chief editor of the motherhow.com project, selecting the best and up-to-date material for those, who are planning, expecting, and already having babies.