When a baby cries it feels natural to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That’s because standing up to calm babies is more than just an instinct.
The action is driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.
“Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother,” say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.
The researchers concluded the “infant calming response to maternal carrying is a coordinated set of central, motor, and cardiac regulations and is a conserved component of mammalian mother-infant interactions.”
Being carried by mum induces “central, motor, and cardiac regulations” that have a calming response stronger than rocking or other kinds of movement.
It is amazing how our mothering instincts are so clever at times.
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