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A lot of people have missed physical contact with friends and family during the pandemic - the hugs especially. We all need to feel loved. Babies and toddlers especially need cuddle time. It brings both physical and psychological benefits. In fact, studies show that there is lasting damage where a child has been deprived of physical contact in the early years.
Your baby spent nine months in the womb, so it is used to close physical contact by the time it is born. Skin-to-skin contact with the mother in the first few hours of life is good for both mother and baby. Feeding time is an opportunity for cuddles. Loving physical contact with parents, and other caring adults and siblings, helps your child to feel valued and relaxed. Read this article from "A Mother Far from Home" to learn about the benefits of cuddles and make sure you always make cuddle time for your child. And don't forget that story time is a good time for a cuddle. Cuddle time benefits both of you.
Sharing stories play an important role in a child’s development. They not only help children learn language and reading skills but they also have an emotional quality which can help children make sense of their feelings. Reading to babies and young children, and giving them time to respond, will help make the most of this opportunity. Recognising shapes will help your child to learn to read later on.
The most important thing is that reading is fun and enjoyable for both of you – five minutes can be enough. Just turn off the TV and find a quiet place so there are no distractions. And remember stories are not just found in books, it’s just as good to tell your child short, simple stories you know.
Remember, you’re not teaching your child to read. You learn to talk a long time before you learn to read, and sharing stories and giving your child time to respond is a wonderful way to help your child’s language development.
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