Why does rocking a baby calm them down? Studies say evolution

Daybreak

We see the baby's heart rate slow down when on the move

(WYTV) – You’re carrying your infant to keep him calm. He is quiet, but the moment you stop and maybe try to sit down, you get a fuss and maybe a wail.

Why can’t your baby let you have a break? You’re still holding him, right? Isn’t that enough?

According to a study from the journal Current Biology, evolution is what’s going on.

Let’s say you’re running from a predator, carrying your infant. Your odds of survival are higher if the child you’re holding, clutched to your chest, is not squirming and screaming — and the infant knows this.

When the person holding you is standing up, ready to run, it makes sense to be still. Do not interfere with the flight to safety.

Over millions of years, our species evolved to automatically stay still and quiet when our parents are on the move, carrying us. We go back to being restless as soon as that movement stops.

We see the baby’s heart rate slow down when on the move.

We see this in other mammals, too. Baby cats, rats and lions go quiet and still when mom’s carrying them.

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