Cradling and rocking seems to calm a crying baby, according to a recent study.
There is a strong scientific reason behind this phenomenon, as scientists in Japan have found. The heart rate of crying babies appears to slow down when they are put in the arms of their mothers. The calming effect is better if the mothers carried them around rather than remained still.
The same experience was found during experiments with mouse pups.
"From humans to mice, mammalian infants become calm and relaxed when they are carried by their mother. This infant response reduces the maternal burden of carrying and is beneficial for both the mother and the infant," researchers said.
Researchers found that mouse pups calmed down and relaxed when they were gripped. "When I picked the pups up at the back skin very softly and swiftly as mouse mothers did, they immediately stopped moving and became compact. They appeared relaxed, but not totally floppy, and kept the limbs flexed. This calming response in mice appeared similar to me to soothing by maternal carrying in human babies," researchers said.
This study helps understand the manner in which parents can calm crying babies. This can also prevent cases of child abuse when parents get annoyed with a relentless baby.