'Carrying babies upright makes them secure, poised'
Babies carried upright by their parents grow into more self-assured and poised kids compared to those who are just made to sit in prams, says a Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist.
"We are struck by how emotionally secure, self-confident, curious and autonomous the members of those small-scale societies are, not only as adults but already as children," Jared Diamond said in his new book The World Until Yesterday.
Diamond, who spent 50 years working with traditional societies in New Guinea, notes that basic parenting methods which have been discarded by the West but are being followed in more traditional societies, could benefit children.
"That's surely the result of how they are raised as children. I think that we can foster those admirable qualities in our own children, by emulating some hunter-gatherer child-rearing practices," the Telegraph quoted him as saying.
Indigenous people living in the African rain-forest, for example, use a variety of behaviours which evolved over hundreds of thousands of years but which have been discarded in the modern world, Diamond says.
Diamond, a professor, added that "It would be impossible, illegal, or immoral to carry out rigorous controlled experiments on Western children, in order to test outcomes of different child-rearing methods."
"But a huge variety of different methods has in effect already been tested by natural experiments: different societies have been raising their children differently for a long time, and we can see the results," he concluded.