Below you will find an overview and resources pertaining to one of nine of the Evolved Nest's Components. Click here to return to the Evolved Nest's Components' Overview page to see the full list and to click on the other eight components' pages.
POSITIVE TOUCH like carrying and rocking promote neurobiological health.
What to do:
• Carry, hold, rock your baby as much as possible.
• Stay physically close 24/7.
• Practice skin-to-skin contact as much as you can.
• For older children, play with them in whole body ways. Cuddles and roughhouse!
Human babies are much more social and malleable than are other animals where most studies of touch have taken place. Animal studies show:
• Losing contact with the parent is distressing.
• Even a few minutes of separation in rat babies causes lifelong changes in stress response (Levine, 2005), which when mild and graded can help the offspring cope with the stress of separation (Katz et al., 2009).
• Multiple systems are regulated by the presence of the mother and quickly become dysregulated when she is physically absent (Hofer, 1994).
• Physical separation activates painful emotions (Ladd, Owens, & Nemeroff, 1996; Panksepp, 2003; Sanchez, Ladd, & Plotsky, 2001)
• Monkeys isolated from adults when babies spend their lives with deficits of 5-HIAA, a main metabolite of serotonin (critical for intelligence and happiness, social behavior) (e.g., Kalin, 1999; Suomi, 2006).
Darcia Narvaez and Mary Tarsha discuss one of the nine components of the Evolved Nest: Touch.
Community practices refer to everything outside a particular family, so that means policies and practices of neighborhoods, counties, cities, states, schools, and workplaces. Institutions that govern our lives also need to be responsible to promote flourishing in children. Here are some ideas for ways for community practices to support children and families.
Evolved Nest Articles on Community and Cultural Support, and How They are Missing in America:
The Layers Of Structures That Support Individuals, Families – And How The Pandemic Changed Them
Early Partnership Childhood Care: What Should Centers Provide?