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Increased Carrying Reduces Infant Crying: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

The crying pattern of normal infants in industrialized societies is characterized by an overall increase until 6 weeks of age followed by a decline until 4 months of age with a preponderance of evening crying. We hypothesized that this "normal" crying could be reduced by supplemental carrying, that is, increased carrying throughout the day in addition to that which occurs during feeding and in response to crying. In a randomized controlled trial, 99 mother-infant pairs were assigned to an increased carrying or control group. At the time of peak crying (6 weeks of age), infants who received supplemental carrying cried and fussed 43% less (1.23 v 2.16 h/d) overall, and 51% less (0.63 v 1.28 hours) during the evening hours (4 PM to midnight). Similar but smaller decreases occurred at 4, 8, and 12 weeks of age. Decreased crying and fussing were associated with increased contentment and feeding frequency but no change in feeding duration or sleep. We conclude that supplemental carrying modifies "normal" crying by reducing the duration and altering the typical pattern of crying and fussing in the first 3 months of life. The relative lack of carrying in our society may predispose to crying and colic in normal infants.
... Inwiefern sich der Säugling an die westlichen Bedingungen anpassen kann, ist noch unklar. Intensive Forschung der letzten Jahre zeigt aber, dass Zuwendung durch Körperkontakt nach der Geburt, Stillen, Tragen, Co-sleeping und Stimulation positive Auswirkungen auf das Kind haben und seine Stressregulation entscheidend mitbeeinflussen (Akbari et al., 2018;Anisfeld, Casper, Nozyce & Cunningham, 1990;Esposito et al., 2013;Harrison, Chen, Stein, Brown & Heathcock, 2019;Hunziker & Barr, 1986;McKenna & McDade, 2005;Sears & Sears, 2001;St James-Roberts et al., 2006). Anwendung fortgesetzt werden (Ferber, 1985). ...
... Of all the factors, there is evidence that early care practices supporting proximity through body contact, coupled with a caregiver's emotional availability, have the best impact on infants' early stress regulation, and support the reduction of infants' crying and early stress (Esposito et al., 2013;Hunziker & Barr, 1986;McKenna & McDade, 2005;Mileva-Seitz et al., 2016;St James-Roberts, Alvarez, Csipke, Abramsky, Goodwin & Sorgenfrei, 2006). This study aims to examine the influence of early caregiving experiences in the normal range on children's behavioral and autonomic stress response to a cry stimulus in an experimental setting. ...
... Carrying, Holding and Skin-to-skin contact after birth. Early on, researchers already noticed that a lack of carrying and closeness in infancy predisposes infants to cry more (Hunziker & Barr, 1986). Esposito et al. (2013) found similar results: children stopped crying and their heart rate decreased when they were carried around. ...
... The infant cry curve has since become widely recognized by parents and clinicians as describing a predictable pattern, peaking at 6 weeks, then declining steadily until 12 weeks. Numerous studies in Western countries have replicated the early pattern of a peak and decline (Hunziker & Barr, 1986;Rebelsky & Black, 1972), and the cry curve has been described as the "most robust feature of infant crying" (Barr et al., 1987). Depictions of the infant "cry curve" feature centrally in psychoeducational materials for parents on infant crying (Barr, n.d.) and in clinician-facing training materials (e.g., Royal Children's Hospital, 2019). ...
... For example, higher maternal responsiveness to crying has been associated with greater subsequent cry duration (van IJzendoorn & Hubbard, 2000). Intervening to increase the amount of maternal carrying of the infant has also been associated with alterations to the "cry curve" (Hunziker & Barr, 1986). Anthropological studies of non-Western and less industrialized societies also suggest radically different approaches to infant crying and reported infant cry durations. ...
... Data were drawn from 17 countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Mexico, Turkey, India, Sweden, see Figure 2a). Most of the studies were from Canada (k = 9; Barr et al., 1989;Clifford et al., 2002aClifford et al., , 2002bFujiwara et al., 2012;Hunziker & Barr, 1986;Jordan et al., 2020;Kramer et al., 2001;Lam et al., 2010;Miller et al., 1993), the United States (k = 9; Anzman-Frasca et al., 2013;Atella et al., 2003;Blum et al., 2002;DeLeon & Karraker, 2007;Fujiwara et al., 2012;Geeraerts et al., 2020;McRury & Zolotor, 2010;Miller-Loncar et al., 2004;Stifter et al., 2003) and the United Kingdom (k = 14; Baildam et al., 1995;Bilgin & Wolke, 2020a;Darlington & Wright, 2006;Harrison, 2004;Killerby, 1992;Lucas & St. James-Roberts, 1998;McGlaughlin & Grayson, 1999;St. James-Roberts & Conroy, 2005;St. ...
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Crying is an ubiquitous communicative signal in infancy. This meta‐analysis synthesizes data on parent‐reported infant cry durations from 17 countries and 57 studies until infant age 12 months (N = 7580, 54% female from k = 44; majority White samples, where reported, k = 18), from studies before the end Sept. 2020. Most studies were conducted in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada (k = 32), and at the traditional cry “peak” (age 5–6 weeks), where the pooled estimate for cry and fuss duration was 126 mins (SD = 61), with high heterogeneity. Formal modeling of the meta‐analytic data suggests that the duration of crying remains substantial in the first year of life, after an initial decline.
... cried 43% less than infants in the control group at 6 weeks. 52 Whilst babywearing, it is possible to position the infant to facilitate breastfeeding. Baby wearing increases the likelihood of responsive breastfeeding, feeding that is initiated in response to an infant's early hunger cues. ...
Article
Babywearing is the practice of using a swathe of fabric or purpose-built carrier to hold an infant or toddler close the caregiver’s torso, for multiple hours of the day. The child’s legs are often positioned in an “M” shape, with hips and knees flexed and abducted. There is increasing interest in the potential for babywearing to assist in hip development, as the “M” position assumed in most carriers is similar to the position achieved in harnesses/braces used in the treatment of developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH). The association between low incidence of DDH in babywearing populations (Southern China, Aboriginal people of Western Australia, Central and Southern Africa, Malawi, and the Inuit/Eskimos of the circumpolar north) suggests that babywearing may play a role in optimal hip development, although genetics likely also contributes. Biomechanical studies have demonstrated optimal hip joint reaction forces while in baby carriers, with similar lower-extremity muscle activation as obtained in Pavlik harnesses. Ultrasound studies have shown that infant hips maintain normal ultrasound parameters while in baby carriers. In addition to its potential positive impact on hip development, babywearing stimulates caretaker-infant responsiveness, improves attachment and bonding, promotes language development, decreases infant crying, supports breastfeeding, and allows for caregiver multi-tasking. With improper use or insufficient care, asphyxia, falls/trauma, and baby-carrier purpura are potential complications. Energy expenditure of babywearing is less than arm-carrying, and effects on gait and posture can be minimized with proper positioning. Orthopedic surgeons may support their patient families that wish to babywear, as there are multiple non-orthopedic benefits, few potential complications if performed properly, and a promising potential for this form of post-natal positioning to have a positive impact on hip development. Future research should focus on prospective comparative studies of babywearing versus other post-natal positions and their impact on hip development.
... In a randomized study of the effects of BW on infant crying, mothers in the intervention group were encouraged to engage in extended BW when their babies were 4 weeks of age, while mothers in the control group were not given information about BW. In this study, extended BW resulted in a reduction of daily infant crying by 43% (1.23 vs. 2.16 h/d) at 6 weeks of age, when infant crying normally peaks [83]. In a high-risk sample, at two months postpartum, only 21% of carried infants had a regular daily period of crying, compared to 52% in the control group, whose mothers were issued a plastic infant seat at birth [66]. ...
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An increasing number of parents engage in extended daily chest-to-chest contact with their full-term healthy infants for several months after birth as an extension of skin-to-skin contact in the early postpartum period. This practice is commonly known as "babywearing" (BW) and employs various carrying devices. The purpose of this review is to acquaint pediatricians and primary care providers with the numerous studies of physical, behavioral and social effects of BW as well as the different types of infant carriers and safe practices. BW studies demonstrate improved attachment and breastfeeding outcomes and infant sleep organization, as well as reduced maternal postpartum depressive symptoms and infant crying. BW is likely to strengthen paternal caregiving engagement, associated with positive child outcomes. The spread squat position for the hips during BW offers an optimal position for hip development and may prevent some forms of developmental hip dysplasia. BW may reduce the risk of positional plagiocephaly, by decreasing the time infants spend in the supine position while also allowing for spontaneous head movements. BW enables some mothers with short maternity leave to bring their infants to the workplace with limited interference in their tasks. Numerous designs of infant carriers are described along with basic safety precautions. Pediatricians may be key influencers for parents in achieving the positive outcomes described in this review.
... À droite : Porte-bébé préformé correspondant à un portage symétrique. Les études sur le portage confirment par exemple que porter son nourrisson de 6 semaines permet de réduire significativement ses pleurs (Hunziker & Barr, 1986) ou encore que porter son enfant durant ses premiers mois de vie aurait un impact positif sur le lien mère-enfant, mais également sur l'allaitement (Cunningham et al., 1987). Transporter son nourrisson avec un porte-bébé offre également un aspect pratique qui peut convaincre les mamans d'adopter cette méthode à la place du landau. ...
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