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The Benefits of Being Skin to Skin

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					The Benefits of Being Skin to Skin

You've probably heard of "kangaroo care" for premature babies. You hold
tiny babies against your skin to help them grow and develop. But did you
know that skin to skin contact benefits babies of all ages? Even your
healthy newborn will benefit from kangaroo care!Improving Your Baby's
HealthLittle ones are very immature in many ways. Their temperature
regulation isn't great, which is why it's so important to keep babies
warm. They don't breathe completely regularly yet. A newborn's nervous
system is still developing.Luckily, all of these things are helped by
keeping your little one skin-to-skin. Your own temperature and breathing
actually help your baby to regulate his or hers! As your little one is
against your skin, he or she will feel you breathe. This has been proven
to help a baby modify his or her own breathing pattern to match yours.
Babies who sleep in their parent's arms and on their chests actually
begin to breathe along with them.The same is true with temperature. Your
baby's temperature will fluctuate up and down with the weather far more
easily than yours. This is why premature babies have such a hard time and
need to be in a warming cradle. It's also why doctors put even full-term
newborns into a warming cradle.A healthy, full-term baby doesn't need
this treatment, however. If you put your newborn or older baby on your
chest skin to skin, then cover both of you with a blanket your baby will
be nice and warm. Your temperature helps your baby's body reach the
correct temperature and stay there.Your baby's nervous system is also
soothed and regulated by being close to you. Immature pathways begin to
mature and impulses start to fire in predictable ways when your baby
feels secure and takes his or her cues from your own body.Increased
BondingIn addition to the health benefits your baby receives from being
close to you, you will also increase your bond with your baby. Babies
have been cradled in the womb for nine months. They're used to hearing
your heart beat and hearing you breathe. The gentle, natural rhythm of
your body is soothing to your baby.Your baby will be comforted by
enjoying these same rhythms after birth, as well. Your baby likes being
against your chest, hearing your heart beat and feeling the gentle rise
of your lungs.Babies and children love routine and rhythm. You can first
create a secure routine for your child by holding him or her close to you
and continuing the soothing experience of heartbeats and breathing. Your
warm skin and familiar smell are also soothing to your baby.As your baby
learns that you are a source of comfort that can be trusted, he or she
grows more and more attached to you.Skin to Skin Helps YouThe benefits of
skin contact are not just for your baby. You as a parent will find many
benefits, too. Holding a baby skin to skin brings strong hormonal
responses from your body. Mothers tend to feel deep rushes of love and
attachment for their babies. Fathers feel a strong need to protect and
care for their baby (and the baby's mother). These hormonal processes are
built into humans and they're important for helping you bond with your
baby and helping to prevent problems like depression.Many modern
practices, like taking a baby away right after birth, strollers, and
cribs in separate rooms tend to disrupt the normal flow of hormones and
pattern of bonding between parent and child. You can overcome these
things by making different choices and taking the time to hold and cuddle
with your baby.Baby skin is also soft and silky, and babies smell
pleasant. We as humans are hard-wired to find joy in these things and
really get attached to our babies. Hold your baby close to you -- both
you and your baby will love it.

				
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Description: Essentials For Baby's Healthy Skin Your baby's skin-care routine should consist of healthful products that are gentle for sensitive skin. It may surprise you to know that many of the products that are made for babies and children can contain irritating ingredients. These substances may look attractive and they may have a pleasant smell, but many times they contain artificial colors, fragrances and preservatives which can cause irritation and allergic reactions.Let's start with the basics - a little bit of soap and some water. For a newborn baby, those will be sufficient. A mild soap containing ingredients such as coconut or palm oil should be used, as pediatricians recommend that antibacterial soaps should be avoided. It is not a good idea to bathe a newborn baby every day. Soothing lotions containing wholesome oils such as coconut or sesame can be used to replenish moisture after the bath.Many newborns do not have much hair, and thus do not need to be shampooed a lot during their first few months. A very mild shampoo is best of course, and it is always helpful to look at the ingredient list. Synthetic fragrances, preservatives and parabens should be avoided. If the ingredient list includes TEA-sodium lauryl ulfate or cocamide-DEA, these are substances that may interact with preservatives in the shampoo, thus irritating sensitive skin.Fragrance has the ability to irritate below the skin's surface and you may not even notice a reaction in your child's skin. However, irritation still may be occurring. There are many beneficial natural and organic ingredients, but just because a substance sounds like it may be good to eat doesn't mean it is good for your skin.Essential oils and some extracts, like citrus, peppermint, and even lavender are irritants that can inflame the skin and slow down its healing process. These irritants are often added to children's skin-care products, and can appear in those that are touted as being gentle or fragrance-free! So beware, and read t