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Hands Connect Infants to the Universe
November 5, 2019
With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

In a brand new Exchange Essentials article collection, Aspects of Infant and Toddler Care, infant/toddler consultant and certified, accredited Pikler trainer, Elsa Chahin, writes:

“Being touched is paramount to every baby’s daily life. The young child’s well-being will depend, in great part, on the way he is touched by the adult. Through the use of our hands, we bathe, feed, and dress these precious souls. Our hands, therefore, represent everything to the infant, not only by the adult that cares for him, but as an expression of the entire world, thus becoming his first connection with the universe around him.

As the late modern dance pioneer Martha Graham once proclaimed: ‘Movement never lies,’ and to that I add, nor do hands. Consider this: If they are rough, impersonal, and rushed during moments of care, the infant will link these experiences to unpleasant sensations. Indeed, he may look forward to finishing the task by exhibiting resistance, yet the adult may fail to read any cues emanating from the baby’s tense body.”

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