Why Do Babies Always Want to Be Held?

Why Do Babies Always Want to Be Held?

Last update: 27 December, 2017

The scientific reason why babies always want to be held in our arms lies in the theory of evolution. When a baby is born, he only wants to be with his mother simply because of survival instincts. There, in her arms, he has everything he needs to feel good: food, heat and protection.

Evolutionary theory tells us that human beings and chimpanzees, among other primates, are family. And when chimpanzees are born, they are not capable of holding onto their mothers on their own.

At this point, both species are similar, as the mothers have to carry their babies in their arms. However, the differences between chimpanzee babies and human babies quickly become noticeable.

After three weeks, baby chimpanzees are already walking from branch to branch, while a human baby still needs a much longer time to be able to function autonomously. 

Holding your baby strengthens your bond

Certainly, there are children who are more dependent than others and cry to be picked up because they feel lonely, scared or insecure.

When a baby cries, many mothers comfort them by holding them in their arms. Holding your baby in your arms for as long as possible and breastfeeding not only meets his physical needs, but also provides security.

Holding your child helps to strengthen the bond between mother and baby. Although many people will tell you that you are spoiling him, the literature on attachment parenting says the opposite; contrary to popular belief, children who are held when they are newborns until they start crawling become independent children.

drawing of a little girl who wants to be held by her mother

Logically, satisfying that demand can be tiring, and it can also prevent us from performing other tasks. However, this drawback can be remedied by using a baby carrier, an invention that women have being using for centuries throughout history and around the world.

You will carry your baby for very little time

It may be hard at first to always carry your child in your arms, but remember that this dynamic will break when your baby starts to crawl. After that, he will want to discover the world for himself and will do so whenever his parents allow him.

Little by little, he will grow up and will need his mother less and less to move, eat and stay warm. And as he grows, his extra weight will also prevent him from being carried all day in your arms.

Holding your child in your arms will make the bond between mother and child tighter, providing your baby with the security, confidence and protection he needs.

In addition, with the passage of time you will not be the only one in charge of holding him, as your child will gradually get used to being in other people’s arms. Naturally, this happens in families who understand that children need the physical contact of their mothers and relatives in order to survive and develop in a healthy way.

drawing of a baby being held by her mother

How do you know what he needs if he cries?

When a baby is born, the change of routine and the child’s demands can be overwhelming for some mothers, who will have to discover why their child cries or wakes up at night. There is no one better than a mother to understand a child’s behavior. In fact, even if you do not realize it, you will have nine months to prepare.

Thus, only you will know why he cries. It could be because he is scared, hungry or simply needs a little love. Knowing how to respond to their needs will be a task that you know how to perform without having to make any effort.

Soon you will realize that time passes very fast. In a few months, your child will stop crying for you to hold him, and will instead start crawling and manifesting his desire for independence. Then you will miss the moments in which he depended on you and needed to be in your arms to be calm.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.