Babies Stop Crying When You Stand Up–Here’s Why

Most parents have been in this situation. You’re sitting down and wrestling a fussy, screaming, distraught infant in your arms. You don’t know what to do, but you know sitting still isn’t working. Without really thinking about it, you stand up for a moment. Lo and behold, the baby stops crying.  
 
This is the reality of having a fussy baby, and if you’ve had this experience, you’re not alone. In fact, scientists have studied this very phenomenon. It’s been observed and well-documented as a thing, so don’t worry—you’re not crazy. Apparently, the whole thing has to do with evolution. Go figure. 
 
In essence, babies have evolved to stop crying when their moms are standing up. Prehistorically, if a homo sapien held her baby while standing up, it was a warning sign. Standing up would buy her a few extra seconds in terms of fleeing the scene if a predator or other threat was nearby. Researchers call this the “calming response,” meaning that babies are both quiet and relaxed—their heart rates slow significantly when in the upright position.  
 
The authors of the study found that infants under six months of age stopped voluntary movement and crying when their mothers stood up. The calming response is essentially a set of central, motor, and cardiac regulations. It’s adaptive and, back in the day, helped to increase the infant’s chance of survival. This also supports the parent-infant relationship. 
 
Pretty fascinating stuff, right? 
 
So, there you have it. It’s not just you, and it’s not just your weird baby. They’re needy as heck, and they like what they like. Most of the time, that includes survival. While it might seem tedious that the only way to stop your screaming baby is to stand up and walk around, there’s nothing wrong with employing a fake set of rocking arms—maybe a swing, or some type of cling.  

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