Is three the magic number? When it comes to the family unit, does an only child bond better with his or her parents because the kid doesn't have to compete with siblings for attention and affection? Or, does a bit of a bridge between mom, pop, and child in the form of siblings make growing up less stressful on a youngster?
I'm not embarrassed to admit it: no matter how old I get, sometimes I just need to talk to my mom. I call her to share good news, to whine, to vent, to admit things I'm too self-conscious to share with anyone else. Now, science proves I'm not just a big wuss.
In a new study of mothers, daughters, and hormones, researchers discovered that hearing a mother's voice on the phone can provide the same soothing, stress-relieving effect as a hug. (Interestingly, it turns out therapy by phone may work, too.) It's one of the many talents of oxytocin, the so-called "cuddle hormone," which aids mother-child bonding at birth and makes men more empathetic. In the study, girls ages 7 to 12, girls were put into stressful situations, such as giving a speech, then comforted three different ways: by a mom hug, by a mom phone call, and "by watching a film deemed emotionally neutral, the March of the Penguins."
The girls who were physically comforted and comforted by a phone call saw similar increases in oxytocin and decreases in cortisol. Basically, the stress-lessening effect was the same, regardless of physical distance. No conclusions were reached regarding the effect of watching March of the Penguins while sitting in your mom's lap.
So call your mom and tell her the news! Posting a link on her Facebook wall doesn't count.
Breast may be best, but what about bonding with daddy? Breastfeeding provides a baby with countless benefits, it has been known to help mama lose weight, ward off cancer and establish an early bond with her newborn. Yet, all of this closeness may sideline pop so take some time to ensure that he creates an early connection with baby too. Check out our eight tips to help your wee one bond with his father.
There's no bond quite as strong as that between mother and child. Once a baby enters the world, it is just assumed that mum and newborn will gaze into each other's eyes and fall in love. For some this is the case, but for many others, the relationship isn't quite as natural. If mommy needs some help feeling that connection, she can take a tip from these eight pointers.
Holding baby for the first time is a memory that forever sticks in a mother's mind. While it normally happens at the hospital or home after birth, one man is hoping to help parents-to-be have a hands on experience before their infant arrives. A model maker at London's Royal College of Arts uses ultrasound images and high tech machinery to create models of growing fetuses to encourage bonding for future moms and dads during the prenatal phase. Would you be interested in his concept?
Some women swear that breastfeeding their babies begets a bond unlike any other and for that reason, they continue to nurse well beyond their child's first birthday — sometimes even until their offspring enter school. While other mothers wean their wee ones once they begin to toddle and have reaped the benefits of breastfeeding. Do you think nursing is as much about a mother's need to connect and care for her child, as it is the infant?