Ba­bies cry at night ‘to de­lay sib­lings’ birth’

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Ba­bies who wake up dur­ing the night to be fed are try­ing to de­lay the birth of a younger brother or sis­ter, re­searchers claim.

A Har­vard Univer­sity study said that shorter de­lays be­tween the birth of sib­lings is linked to higher mor­tal­ity rates, par­tic­u­larly in ar­eas with wide­spread in­fec­tious dis­eases and scarce re­sources.

This means that a Dar­winian tac­tic has de­vel­oped in breast feed­ing chil­dren, in an at­tempt to re­duce com­pe­ti­tion to im­prove their sur­vival, it is claimed.

Dur­ing the first six months af­ter birth, breast feed­ing acts as a nat­u­ral con­tra­cep­tive.

Pro­fes­sor David Haigh, who led the study, said ba­bies are most likely to wake of­ten in the night at around six months, which is around the time when moth­ers are be­com­ing fer­tile again.

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