Principle: Use Nurturing Touch

Frequently Asked Questions

What does API think of families using "lovies"?

Certainly we need to stress that a parent or other attached caregiver would be the best "lovie" a child could have. There is no substitute for the warm, loving arms of a caregiver and the security that they provide for the child. However, we realize that sometimes a lovie (such as a stuffed animal or blanket) can be an appropriate tool, and as long as it is not overused, it can be comforting to some children. Some high-needs children require almost constant contact with a parent or caregiver. Sometimes this level of contact is not possible, especially in a household with multiple children.

Does API support the use of "baby equipment"?

Babies are born with a definite set of physical and emotional needs. One of these primary needs is that of human closeness and interaction. These needs must be cared for in order to allow for optimum growth and development. The more you rely on baby "equipment," the less time you actually hold and interact with your baby. These gadgets can certainly be helpful when used sparingly. The key is to avoid overusing them when your baby really wants you. The more time you invest in the early years, the more independent and confident your child will become.

How frequently should I hold my baby?

Years of research have demonstrated that human babies have very positive responses to touch and holding, both physiologically and emotionally. A baby is unable to understand that she is a separate entity from her mother or primary caregiver, but her awareness of separateness will come as she matures. This appears to be a survival mechanism designed to keep baby and mother, or primary caregiver, close together. Thus, it is important that babies be held very frequently as a baby benefits from a mother or father's warm touch, smell, and voice.

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