We had some sickness in the house these last few days. The muslins were back out and flat surfaces were covered in tissues, wipes and the odd potion or two. We also had a seriously cuddly baby on our hands, who loves nothing more than a good snuggle and having his hair stroked when he’s feeling ill.
When I think about it, it’s more than when he’s under the weather. Whenever he’s looking for comfort, whether it’s that little support to help him to nod off at bedtime or when he’s got a fright or hurt himself and he is just looking to reconnect, his default pacifier is to seek out skin.
He nuzzles into your chest and he’ll use his cheek, chin or nose – like a little puppy – to move away any clothing that might be coming between him and the warmth of your naked skin. Sometimes, he’ll also wrap his arms around your waist and hook his hands in under your top so that he can press his hands and arms against the soft flesh of your hips and back.
Even when he’s a bit hyper, full of the excitement of horse play around the house, he’ll jump into your arms for a hug and press his peachy cheek against yours with the ferocity and vitality that only a small child has. It’s like he’s saying “I love you and I love this, us together”. It’s just gorgeous.
It was my husband who pointed out that it makes perfect sense that this is how he would communicate love, safety and contentment to us.
“He was born to it…it’s what he knows.”
It’s nothing but truth. I reached down to grab him as he came into this world and lifted him straight into my arms and onto my chest. For the first few hours of his life he knew nothing but skin to skin. When the midwives took me for my shower, my husband wrapped him up in his strong arms and he held him against his heart where he slept contently.
A more beautiful beginning I can’t imagine. Swaddled in the warm skin of the people who love you most. Why wouldn’t that be your go-to place when you need to reach out?
There are only so many circumstances and so many people in your lifetime with whom you get to experience the calming, reassuring and electric sensation of your bare skin against another’s. It is truly a magical gift to have that innocent, pure intimacy with your child. I drink it in and relish in it while I still can…