Study: Hugging is Important for Children's Growth and Development

Study: Hugging is Important for Children's Growth and Development

Embrace your child!

Everyone loves a little cuddle. It seems to diffuse any issues your kids had 15 minutes ago and fills them up with warm, fuzzy feelings.

There’s a good reason to keep hugging your children too, as a slew of studies released in the past few years have shown the importance of hugging your child!

For one, hugging makes your kids smarter! The study by researchers at the University of Columbia shows how hugging helps your little one develop mentally and physically quicker than children who had less physical contact with their parents.

importance of hugging your child

Image source: iStock

What’s more, research also shows that hugging also makes your kids stronger and happier! Previous research shows how hugging results in oxytocin being released, a hormone that’s responsible for encouraging physical growth and development. Oxytocin triggers the release of other hormones that promote growth in your child’s neurons and cells. In short, more hugging means a healthier and fitter child!

Your child also learns to be happier with more cuddles. This is due to a process called synaptic pruning. Your brain learns which neural connections are used the least and eliminates them, while keeping the ones that are used frequently.

When you show your little one care and love constantly, it reinforces what it means to have healthy and happier relationships.

3 reasons to show the importance of hugging your child (if you needed any!)

importance of hugging your child

Image source: iStock

These are some of the ways your little one benefits from your hugs. Not only does your child grow smarter and stronger, he/she also benefits behaviourally as well! Let’s explore how cuddling helps!

1. Strengthens immune system

A recent study shows how oxytocin helps to heal and protect the body.

The hormone also anti-stress properties and increases your little one’s pain threshold!

2. Strengthens your bond with your child

Research shows how hugging increases trust and allay any fears your child has.

Oxytocin promotes secure attachment, meaning the more you hug, the stronger your bond is with your child!

3. Controls tantrums

Because your little one can’t regulate his/her emotions at a young age, it’s normal for outbursts and tantrums to happen.

When you hug your child, it helps to calm him/her down thanks to the stress-reducing properties of oxytocin.


We hope you realise the importance of hugging your child and remember to give your little one cuddles frequently!

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Written by

Vinnie Wong

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