The influence of carrying on infant crying
Excerpt from a trial by Dr. med. Urs. A. Hunziker
Children's hospital, Winterthur, Switzerland
(...) The crying behaviour in the control group developed as ex[ected, starting at an average crying duration of 1,6 hours per day in week three peaking at 2,1 hours per day in week six and then decreasing to 1,1 hours in week 12. The trial reproduced and confirmed the crying curve described by Brazelton with a peak at the age of six weeks.
The crying behaviour in the group of increased carrying developed completely different: the average crying duration per day started with 1,7 hours in week three, followed by a gradual decrease to 1,3 hours in week six, 1,1 hours in week 10, and 1,0 hours in week 12. The two groups differed significantly in weeks 6, 8 and 12. In the group of increased carrying the crying peak at week six could be eliminated.
(...) Simultaneously, the group with increased carrying recorded increased awake contentment corresponding exactly to the reduction of crying. The sleeping behavour, instead, remain the same. Similar observations could be made in weeks 8 and 12. (...)
To sum up, our study showed a modification of the crying behaviour in infants who were carried regularly during the first three months:
- the daily crying duration was reduced;
- the peak (of crying) in week six was eliminated;
- carrying positively influenced the typical pattern of crying in the evening;
- the reduced crying duration was associated with increased awake contentment
- the sleeping behaviour remained the same.