Why babies calm down if carried by their mothers?

Me carrying my daughter

In 2013 Esposito and collaborators published a paper, when for the first time, scientists demonstrate that the babies calming response to carrying is an evolutionary trait of mother-child relationship.

They demonstrate that infants under 6 months of age, when carried by a walking mother, immediately stopped crying and show a rapid heart rate decrease. A similar behavior was evident also in mice mothers and their pups.

The calming response is regulated by central, motor and cardiac signals.

To conclude: mother, if your babies are crying, carry them, maybe pacing the floor and walk a little. This will help out little cubs calm down.

For further information: “Infant calming response during maternal carrying in human and mice”, Esposito et al., Current Biology 23, 739-745, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2013.03.041

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