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This paper addresses the beneficial psychological and physiological effects of touching, carrying, and holding infants. Through an overview of research, scientific evidence is provided that substantiates the importance of close physical contact in each of the three major states of consciousness: awake, asleep, and crying. A historical and cross-cultural perspective is also included. Implications and recommendations are made for child rearing by modern parents in industrialized nations.
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Aletha Solter, Ph.D.