You must have already noticed. It makes a big difference to your newborn if you’re sitting or standing while you hold them! As soon as you stand up and start walking your baby calms down, whereas they seem to fuss more when you’re sitting down and especially when you put your infant down in their crib.
Scientists confirm that this is normal physiological behaviour for young babies. Why does this happen?
Why do infants stop crying when their parents stand up? Let’s uncover the mystery behind it
The reason behind this behaviour stems from a primal instinct linked to a young baby’s survival: a newborn baby knows that if the person holding them is standing up then they are ready to run, and thus – escape, from any immediate danger.
An infant responds by aiding their own survival: he or she calms down and immobilises themselves so as not to interfere with escape.
This is why infants can become fussy if you’re sat down or cry if you put them down in their crib
The reason behind this phenomenon is always survival, an ancestral instinct evolved from our past.
Just as infants feel safe and secure when being held in a standing position ready to escape from danger, they are similarly fussier when being held by someone who is sitting down as they are less ready for any eventual need for escape.
A newborn cries when put in crib, as an infant can feel even more alone and exposed to possible danger, from which they would be unable to defend themselves from.
Confirmed by science
A study Infant Calming Responses during Maternal Carrying in Humans and Mice (2013) carried out by a team of scientists showed that infants under six months old who were picked up and carried by their mum during the experiment, immediately stopped crying and being fussy and showed a rapid decrease in heart rate.
The babies in this study were observed in three different situations: in a crib, being held by their mum while she was sat down and being held by their mum while she walked.
The babies were calm and content while their mums were walking around, became fussy when she sat down and wailed loudly when placed in a crib.
These results confirmed what most parents already knew from first-hand experience, don’t you agree?
Walking around is therefore the best solution to soothing your fussy baby!
Is your newborn crying uncontrollably and you don't know how to calm them down? Try walking around the room. This may help if your newborn cries all the time when awake and not being held.
This method almost always works for the physiological reasons we have discussed above. Why not try this method out to help your infant when they’re extremely upset or fussy?
If you think about it, this is also one of the reasons why babies love being snug inside their baby carrier sling and sleep peacefully while inside their sling and their mummy or daddy are walking or moving around the house.
Which, by the way, is also a great help in not having to hold and carry your baby all the time, which can result in you experiencing muscular pain and making it difficult for you to get anything else done. Baby slings are fantastic if your newborn cries when not held.
Another effective way to soothe young infants and help them sleep peacefully is swaddling your newborn in a soft muslin cloth to make them feel safe and secure, just like when they were inside mummy’s tummy.