The importance of touch

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The best way to bond with your baby and make them feel loved, secure and contented, is to spend lots of time touching and cuddling them.

Never be afraid that cuddling your baby too much will 'spoil' them. All creatures, particularly mammals, use physical contact to help their young get used to life outside the womb, and a young animal wouldn't thrive if it were separated from its mother in the first days of life.

Babies crave touch, and you'll notice immediately that picking your little one up calms them if they're crying or unsettled. Sometimes they'll be unhappy for no other reason than they want to be held.

They can't talk, so being physically close is the only way they can express their sociable nature.

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If your baby has to be taken to a special care unit, you may not be able to enjoy as much skin-to-skin contact. But rest assured, this shouldn't affect long-term bonding, and there are other things you can do.

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