Baby slings 'can reduce crying'

Research suggests that carrying babies in a sling has a soothing effect.
Baby slings are becoming increasingly fashionable for new parents, with celebrities from Gwen Stefani to Maggie Gyllenhaal and even Brad Pitt sporting the fabric wraps to carry their babies.

But research suggests that slings are more than just practical and stylish, they can help to calm a baby because of the feeling of closeness to the mother.

Zoologist Desmond Morris says in his new book, Baby, The Story of a Baby's First Two Years, that the mother's heartbeat has a calming influence on her child as they have been listening to it for the nine months they have been in the womb.

Meanwhile a study published in US journal Pediatrics suggests that babies who are carried more cry less than those who do not.

It found that new-born babies cry and moan 43 per cent less overall if they are carried, which means that being transported in a sling is likely to have a comforting effect on new-borns.

Mother Miriam Berlow-Jackson carried her baby Ellie, now 21 months, in a sling for the first four months.

She told the Times: "The baby has been inside you for nine months and he or she needs to continue that closeness.

"With a baby in a sling you can get on with everyday life, while they satellite around you. Babies have been in your belly for a long time and they need that continued movement."

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