Hungry babies are programmed to wake you up

They might wake you up every couple of hours for a feed but all for a good reason.

stick_figure_sleeping_10955It seems babies are evolutionary programmed to do just that.

Researchers at Harvard University looking into breastfeeding and sleeping practices argue that by waking up their Mums for a feed they are delaying the return of her ovulation cycle (as well as reducing the time and energy to have sex).

This helps prevent the birth of a sibling with whom they would have to compete for food.

This can be a substantial benefit when food is scarce. In Somalia for example the mortality rate for 1 year-old children was increased fourfold if they had a younger sibling.

Professor David Haig, writing in the journal Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, says “there is no perfect harmony between mother and child. What is best for one is not necessarily best for the other”.

The research might explain why children can revert to waking up frequently in the night after 6 months and why babies fed formula milk tend to sleep more soundly (because there is a weaker incentive to demand food as formula is always available).

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2 thoughts on “Hungry babies are programmed to wake you up

  1. kindadukish says:

    Simple rule of thumb, send young children of 3 months of age away for corrective training until they are 18 years of age, then send them to university and tell them to “never darken my door again”……….works perfectly!

  2. Sarah says:

    Absolutely, – unless we learn to think for ourselves, look after ourselves and be responsible – nothing will improve. My exhusband was like that – inactive, childish and demanding, now he’s sitting on imgur all day upvoting jokes about jerking off. If you don’t fight, you lose it. Excellent post. xOxOx Sarah

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