Touch develops as early as 3 weeks after conception, but its ability to start functioning properly doesn’t happen until just before 8 weeks. At 8 weeks a mere stroke on the cheek of the unborn baby, elicits protective movements. The skin sensitivity then moves onto other parts of the body throughout gestation, until at 32 weeks the entire body is touch sensitive, with the exception of the top of the head.
This sense develops far earlier than the other senses such as hearing (20 weeks), sight (26 weeks) and smell (28 weeks). This may be because touch is so important to early development.
At birth touch is fully developed, babies thrive on being cuddled. Studies have shown that babies who are held and touched a lot during young infancy, tend to cry less, gain weight faster, develop quicker and have a stronger immunity. Babies brains grow and develop through touch and those infants who are deprived of touch have been shown to have significantly smaller brains than those that received touch regularly.
Snuggle, cuddle and spoil your newborns with touch, they need it and will flourish if it is given in abundance.