There have been a lot of questions on this site regarding the phenomenon of a baby needing to be not only held, but carried.

In my specific situation (7 weeks old baby), my baby wants to be held, in a stomach down position and carried around (simply holding is not enough, neither is carrying in another position).

I have read some research on the topic and have concluded the following:

  1. When trouble is afoot and you need to get away quick a crying baby can be a liability. Hence evolution selected for babies, which keep cool, when the mother moves it from A to B.
  2. The baby is programmed in a way, that it is not enough to just hold it, you need to be moving while holding, for the instinct to kick in. This is a distinct feature. For example in cats, you only need to hold them by the scruff for the same feature to kick in.

However I think there might be another factor: Boredom. Since my baby wants to be 1) held 2) on its stomach (which gives it a good view) and 3) moving (changing scenery) boredom must be playing a factor here as well? Maybe babies, who are just developing their eyes, need to be carried in order to train their eyes?

Is there any research backing or disproving this?

  • 2
    Age really matters for behavior of children. And yes, most babies calm down when they are moved around, for some forms of movement. Before they are a couple months old, this is 99% unrelated to the scenery they can see while you're holding them. Quite the opposite - babies usually react stronger to seeing faces than any other visual input.
    – Peter
    Apr 6, 2017 at 23:32
  • 2
    How old is your baby? No one can answer from any significant studies without basic information given. Please edit your post. Thanks. Apr 7, 2017 at 3:07
  • 5
    @Rishi could you please link to that information about infant death due to lack of stroking? There are literally thousands of infants in orphanages who had emotional problems because of a lack of touch. I have never heard of a child dying of a lack of stroking -- neglect, certainly.
    – WRX
    Apr 7, 2017 at 12:30
  • 1
    @Willow - Institutionalized children - overcrowded orphanages - occassionally do develop such significant failure to thrive that it ends in death. But it happens over many months/a few years, not days. Apr 7, 2017 at 14:27
  • 4
    @anongoodnurse you are right, however Rishi said a matter of a few days and that was why I asked for stats or a link.
    – WRX
    Apr 7, 2017 at 14:29

1 Answer 1


You baby is just 7 weeks old. Did you walk around when you were pregnant?

Does the baby just want world to continue as it was?

Of course there is a chance that you have one of those wonderful babies who will change the world. Constantly looking around, trying to understand things, feeling new items, seeing the world, smelling and learning.

My first child was an explorer. I took all juice out of both of us before we realized how to fullfill his needs.

We took him to the baby swimming classes until he was 2 years old and visited all child friendly spas nearby. We visited farms to show him new experiences but water was the thing to drain all his energy when he was a baby or toddler. Later when he learned how to climb and play outside games, those did the trick.

As a first aid, try things. Is the baby happy sucking wooden spoon? Can you find music which makes your baby slow down? It could be anything you listened before the birth.

What ever you do, do not teach the baby bad habits. Few examples which I've heard or made myself. Do not teach child to fall asleep only in the car. My cousin did fall asleep only when she had a pacifier in her mouth and one loop of a pacifier in each of her fingers. I did teach my son to fall to sleep when I were walking or moving him around (rocking etc.)

And finally the eyes. No, you don't need to do anything. It is actually the brain which is developing. When a baby gets older (s)he learns more complex patterns. At the moment (s)he recognizes just eyes and mouth (smiling or not). Babies can be tricked with big emoticons / smilies to smile. :-)

Usually babies need just food, dry diapers, sleep, enough clothes when cold, and someone to show them the world. I mean, to tell them about the world. Before age of one they just want to see you and your reactions, your happiness.

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