Synopses & Reviews
Why do American babies rank among the least held on earth? Throughout human evolution, babies have enjoyed intimate physical contact with their mothers. In cultures around the world, parents' arms are used to comfort their babies, from holding and carrying them to rocking them to sleep. In this probing and insightful book, psychologist Sharon Heller uses evolutionary psychology to examine why social pressures and a desire for self-sufficiency have caused Americans to distance ourselves physically from our children. Our overreliance on infant carriers, strollers, swings, and cribs as parenting substitutes often prevents us from attaining physical closeness with our children, causing increased fussiness in infants and creating conflict for the mothers. Drawing from an inspiring array of cultural and anthropological sources, The Vital Touch explores all the psychological, physiological, and sensory benefits that occur when parent and baby are in touch - and what happens when they're not - and shows us how we can provide a soothing and nurturing environment in which our children will thrive. Here is a book that affirms the value of touch as the most essential medium through which we can communicate and bond with our babies.
Using a lively array of anthropological and sociological sources, The Vital Touch
presents a provocative examination of the reasons why, now more than ever, we need to make consistent physical connections with our infants and children.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 237-260) and index.