Yes, hugs matter.

The science behind hugging your child is vast. The benefits include emotional and physical resilience. Hugging also increases trust, reduces fear and impacts parent-child bonding. An often-hugged child equals a happier, healthier kid.

And now? Hugging is more crucial than originally thought. It makes your child smarter, too.

New research from Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio has found that the more you hug your child during the developmental stages of life, the more their brain grows.

In the study, 125 babies, both premature and full-term, were looked at how well they responded to being physically touched. Researchers used a soft EEG net stretched over the babies’ heads to measure brain responses.

The results found that premature babies responded to affection less than babies who were not born prematurely. That makes sense.

But the study also revealed that babies subjected to more affection by parents or hospital staff showed stronger brain response.

In essence, this finding tells us that something as simple as body contact or rocking your baby in your arms will make a big difference in how their brain develops.

We’d all agree that kids deserve to be cuddled and hugged.  A gentle, kind, loving touch makes a difference. It can make a problem or booboo go away in seconds. The fact that it can make your child smarter is an added bonus, right?

Bottom line: Affection is vital for the development of the brain. So, enjoy cuddling and hugging your child.