If you are the parent of a newborn, then this is no news to you. You know this to be true when you have to walk the equivalent of ten miles in your living room. Or when you try to sit in hopes of enjoying a meal while holding your baby and she screams bloody murder.
Babies really, really, hate it when you sit down.
This is even more apparent as a new parent. And maybe, during your haze of tiredness and lack of sleep, you find yourself wondering: what difference does it make to your infant whether you are sitting or standing? Aren't you still holding and cuddling him? What's the big deal?
Well, according to a 2013 study, it all can be traced back to our flight response that came about after we spent many years getting eaten by large cats. When the person holding you is standing up, ready to run, it makes sense to be still so as not to interfere with their flight.
In the study published in Current Biology, when human babies under the age of six months are carried by a walking mother, they stop voluntary movement (which includes crying) and their heart rate decreases. The study said:
The calming responses may increase the survival probability of the infant in cases of emergency escape by the mother-infant dyad.
To come to their conclusion, ECGs were attached to 12 infants and the babies' heart rate were monitored when they were put in a crib, held while the adult sat or carried around the room for half a minute.
The result did not come as a surprise to many parents. The babies are fine when being carried standing/walking, very annoyed when the parent is seated and downright pissed off when placed in a crib.
A video of the study being carried out was shared for people to see.
So, in conclusion, your kid does not want you walking around just because she thinks it's fun for you to be uncomfortable. In fact, she's just trying to find something that comforts her.