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How touch can shape babies’ brain development

For newborns, skin-to-skin contact with parents and caregivers may help shape how their brains respond to touch, a sense necessary for social and emotional connections, a new study suggests. Plenty of previous research has linked skin-to-skin touch with developmental benefits for both premature and full-term babies, ranging from improved growth and sleep to better motor development. Research has also tied breastfeeding and other forms of supportive touch to less discomfort during from needle sticks and other painful…