Should you pick up your baby every time they cries?

Parents struggling to ignore the cries of their little ones will be pleased to hear they now have scientific permission to give in.

New research led by Notre Dame Psychologist, Darcia Narvaez, has found that cuddled kiddies grow up to be healthier, more empathetic, more productive and less depressed.

"What parents do in those early months and years are really affecting the way the brain is going to grow the rest of their lives, so lots of holding, touching and rocking, that is what babies expect. They grow better that way," Narvaez told Tribune Media.

"And keep them calm, because all sorts of systems are establishing the way they are going to work. If you let them cry a lot, those systems are going to be easily triggered into stress.

'We can see that in adulthood, that people that are not cared for well, tend to be more stress reactive and they have a hard time self-calming," she continues.

The new findings, soon to be published in the journal Applied Developmental Science, observed over 600 adults. Of data collected, the researchers were able to conclude that those who were snuggled as a child were less anxious and had better mental health.

Coping skills were also found to be improved by an affectionate upbringing. This new and perhaps life-changing information was seconded by distinguished paediatrician Dr Armeet Singh from the Unitypoint Clinic in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Singh relays the importance of showing love to a distressed infant, citing it developmentally critical to building a strong foundation in a relationship.

"The first four to six months of life for babies, that is one of the most important times for babies to develop that special bonding with their parents and their primary caregivers," she says.

"Now those are the times where definitely we encourage families that at any point of time they are crying, they are looking for somebody to help them out we need to respond to that."

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