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Share Why children calm down when you hold them in their arms

Armando @armando_bastida

It is still usual (although I have the subjective feeling that it happens less and less) that there are parents who consider that their babies tease them because they cry to be picked up and calmed when they are already in their arms. Perhaps more than just teasing, they refer to it as having been spoiled or not as good a child as they would like.

Whatever the way of defining said behavior, what is spoken is a problem of perception of parents, who for some reason believe that normal babies are quiet in their bassinets and cribs and that those who ask for arms have some problem to solve. In Babies and more we have talked about it for a long time and we are clear that it is an affective and survival need (in the arms of a fixed mother that one is not in danger) and a recent study has tried to give an explanation to the phenomenon: what the children calm down when you pick them up .

Study data

The aforementioned study has been carried out in Japan and has been carried out with both babies and mice. According to the researchers, when mothers take their babies they calm down automatically, being a reaction seen in both babies and mice.

Apparently, at the moment in which a baby is caught in arms, a set of regulations at the level of the central nervous system, at the motor and cardiac level that makes them be calm, are triggered. To achieve the reverse effect, it may be enough to separate them from their mothers, away from their arms.

Seeing that the place where children are best are the arms of their parents, the researchers explain that knowing this can help alleviate the frustration of those parents who feel that they are doing something wrong to catch them and that they have not found the solution so that not be in arms, but at the same time not cry, and can also help prevent child abuse.

In the words of Kumi Kuroda, one of the authors of the study:

From humans to mice, mammalian babies calm down and relax when their mothers carry them. This infantile response reduces the effort that the mother feels when carrying the baby in her arms, and is beneficial for both the mother and the baby.

The benefit for both is that when a baby is in the arms of his mother, as I mentioned above, the chances of survival are greater and the baby, in general, is calmer, feels more secure and has less reasons to activate their alert mechanisms, or what is the same, less reasons to cry . With regard to the benefit to mothers, what any mother and father wants is for their children to be well cared for and not to cry or especially nervous, so it is great to know that they can be taken without problems because, in fact, They are better so alone.

The mice had the same positive response

To do the experiment with mice, they applied small heart electrodes and grabbed the young through the skin of the back, in the same way that their mother would. They saw that the pups stopped moving and became compact. They seemed relaxed, although they kept their limbs flexed, they stopped crying and the heart rate decreased.

With the babies the answer was the same, to be taken by their mothers the heart rates stabilized, stopped moving and stopped crying.

In reference to the application of this knowledge in the lives of children commented the following:

A scientific understanding of this infant response will prevent parents from misinterpreting the crying restart as the baby's intention to control the parents, as suggested by some parenting theories, such as the kind of strategy of letting the baby stop crying alone [ ...] Instead, this phenomenon should be interpreted as a natural consequence of the baby's sensorimotor systems.

Or what is the same, the babies are "programmed" to cry if they feel insecure and alone and at the same time they are programmed to be comfortable, calm and calm when they are accompanied . These responses are intended to ensure the survival of the species and as a consequence have caregivers nearby, precisely to provide them with care, attention, affection and affection.

Via | MedlinePlus Photo | Oksidor on Flickr in Babies and more | Ten reasons why it is recommended to take children in arms (I) and (II), A new theory about "malacostumbramiento": up to three months do not get used to arms

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