The Importance of Connection: Why Babies Need Us More Than Gadgets

The Importance of Connection: Why Babies Need Us More Than Gadgets

Babies need our connection. They need us to smile at them so the mirror neurons in their brain can smile back. They need us to giggle with them so those same neurons can giggle too. Babies thrive on simple, joyful interactions like playing peekaboo, singing silly songs, pulling funny faces, and pretending to be different animals. In these moments, we become their favourite toys.


Forget about fancy gadgets, phones, or apps with dancing fruit. Babies don't need technology; they need us. They need human connection because, as human beings, that's what we thrive on. It's crucial that we engage with our babies—smile at them, babble with them—even on the hard days when all we want to do is cry. And that's okay. There's no harm in cuddling and crying with your baby. They sense our stress anyway, so let's bring them in close, give them a snuggle, smell their beautiful skin, and feel their heartbeat against ours.


Connecting with our babies is about more than just soothing them in the moment. It's about teaching them vital skills for life. A baby who feels connected to the people around them is already learning how to self-regulate, how to feel and express different emotions, and how to connect with others. These early interactions lay the foundation for a healthy, emotionally intelligent, and socially adept individual.


So, let's prioritise real human connection over technology. Let's make time to smile, laugh, sing, and play with our babies. These simple acts of love and connection are what they truly need to thrive.


The Neuroscience Behind Funny Faces: Why Your Baby Needs Your Expressions

Babies are incredibly attuned to their parents' facial expressions. Neuroscience tells us that these interactions are crucial for their development. Here's why:

  1. Mirror Neurons and Imitation:

    • Babies have special brain cells called mirror neurons. These neurons fire not only when a baby performs an action but also when they observe someone else performing the same action. When you smile, your baby's mirror neurons activate, encouraging them to smile back. This imitation is the foundation for learning and social interaction.
  2. Emotional Development:

    • Your facial expressions help your baby learn about emotions. By watching you smile, frown, or make funny faces, they begin to understand different emotional states. This understanding is critical for their emotional development and helps them learn how to express their own feelings.
  3. Social Interaction:

    • Engaging in face-to-face play teaches babies about social cues and communication. When you make eye contact and respond to their babbling with expressions and sounds, you're teaching them the basics of social interaction. This back-and-forth exchange is essential for developing communication skills and building social bonds.
  4. Brain Development:

    • Positive interactions, such as making funny faces and smiling at your baby, stimulate their brain development. These interactions release feel-good hormones like oxytocin, which strengthen the emotional bond between you and your baby and promote healthy brain growth.
  5. Stress Reduction:

    • Seeing your smiling face can help reduce stress in your baby. Studies have shown that parental facial expressions can influence a baby's stress levels and overall sense of security. When you engage with your baby using positive expressions, you're helping to create a safe and reassuring environment.

5 Ways to Connect with Your Baby Without Technology

  1. Engage in Face-to-Face Play:

    • Spend time making funny faces, playing peekaboo, or simply talking to your baby. Babies love to mimic expressions and sounds, which helps them develop their social and communication skills. Enjoy the simplicity of eye contact and the joy it brings to both you and your baby.
  2. Sing and Dance Together:

    • Sing lullabies, nursery rhymes, or even your favourite songs to your baby. Dancing with them in your arms or gently bouncing them to the rhythm creates a joyful and calming experience. Music and movement can enhance their cognitive development and create a strong emotional bond.
  3. Read Aloud:

    • Even if your baby is too young to understand the words, reading aloud to them is a wonderful way to connect. Choose colourful picture books and use different voices for characters to make the experience engaging. The sound of your voice and the visual stimulation from the books help in their language and sensory development.
  4. Explore Nature:

    • Take your baby for a walk in the park, garden, or even your backyard. Let them feel the grass, listen to the birds, and see the trees. Nature provides a rich sensory experience and offers numerous opportunities to bond over the wonders of the natural world. Describe what you see and hear to enhance their sensory awareness.
  5. Massage and Physical Touch:

    • Gentle massage can be incredibly soothing for babies and helps to strengthen the parent-child bond. Use baby-safe oil and gently massage their arms, legs, back, and tummy. Physical touch is a powerful way to communicate love and security, promoting emotional and physical well-being.


Connecting with your baby doesn't require technology or fancy gadgets. It's about being present and enjoying the simple, joyful moments that come with interacting with them. These activities not only help in their development but also create lasting memories and a strong emotional bond.


So go ahead, make those silly faces, sing those songs, and enjoy every precious moment with your little one. They need you, and every smile, giggle, and cuddle is building the foundation for their future.

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1 comment

Love this

Sue Andrew

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