Perfect pacifier

In people and mice, carrying a baby calms it

By Stephen Ornes, 12:01 PM May 1, 2013

A mother’s arms can calm a crying infant, say scientists. The tactic works for mice, too, only those mammals use their mouth to cradle their young. Credit: iStockphoto

Here’s the ultimate pacifier for a crying baby: a mother’s arms. Or a mother’s mouth, depending on the species. In a study published in April on human infants and mouse pups, scientists found that panicking youngsters calmed down when mom scooped them up.

The babies stopped crying. Their bodies stopped fidgeting. And their racing hearts slowed.

This reaction doesn’t only make the parents feel better. It may be a survival strategy for the baby. The researchers suggest that a calm baby is ...

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