How babies prepare to cuddle

A simple stiffening of the body could be revealing a lot more about your baby's development than previously thought.

According to University of Portsmouth News, Professor Vasu Reddy has found that many babies from a very young age, some as young as 2 months old, prepare their bodies to be picked up. When the mother of the young baby puts her hands out towards her child, the baby noticeably stiffens and prepares to be lifted.

It may seem like a simple action that you assume all babies automatically do, but researchers are seeing evidence proving otherwise.

In 1943 it was proven that children with autism don't appear to make the body preparations other children do when they are about to be cuddled. A finding as simple as this could be the key to being able to diagnose developmental problems in young babies.

The studies and findings

Two studies were originally conducted and they showed some important findings. One being that from an early age of 2 months old babies make it easier for their moms to pick them up by stiffening their bodies. This is before their mothers have even touched them.

Secondly, babies seem to develop and perfect the coordination and "smoothness" of their movements rather than learn new ways of moving their bodies. "In other words, they rapidly become more adept at making it easier for parents to pick them up," Professor Reddy said. "The results suggest we need to re-think the way we study infant development because infants seem to be able to understand other people’s actions directed towards them earlier than previously thought."

The movements are subtle but definitely important. Watch the video below and see for yourself.

Do you think these movements from such a young age are really important?

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