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13th Oct 2023

Why does your baby stop crying when you hold them standing up?

Why do babies calm down when we walk around with them as opposed to when we sit with them?

You wouldn’t think it would make much difference as they are being held and cuddled either way, but it does and science has figured out the exact reason why.

But why does the standing part make such a difference to our child’s security and comfort levels?

Apparently, it’s an instinct that is hard-wired into us and our children, and parents have been using this method to calm their children for centuries.

According to research published in Current Biology, our bodies sync with our babies when we stand and babies that are held while the parent is standing showed decreased levels of anxiety and a calmer heart rate.


It’s not just humans that use this method to calm their children either as researchers found that animals such as mice do exactly the same thing to comfort their young.

“We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate.”

Scientists involved in the study concluded that this instinct all comes down to our parental ‘spidey senses’ and our natural knack for knowing what our baby needs the most.


“Infant calming response to maternal carrying is a coordinated set of central, motor, and cardiac regulations and is a conserved component of mammalian mother-infant interactions.”

So whenever you feel unsure about what you’re doing or if you’re doing it right, don’t worry, it’s built into you and you don’t even know it.