There may be an optimal technique to soothe a crying infant, according to scientists.
According to a study, the best method is to hold a crying baby and walk around with them for five minutes without any abrupt stops or sudden changes in direction. After that, researchers suggest sitting down and holding them for five to eight minutes before gently laying them down to sleep.
Scientists used baby heart monitors and video recordings to compare changes in infant heart rate and behavior as a set of 21 mothers acted out activities commonly used to calm crying newborns. The scenarios included walking and carrying the baby, pushing the baby in a stroller, holding the baby while sitting and putting the baby directory into a crib or cot.
Among the babies studied, all had stopped crying after a five-minute walk and had reduced heart rates, while about half fell asleep. Just sitting and holding a crying baby did not appear to work. Monitors showed the baby’s heart rate increased and crying persisted.
The study found babies were extremely cognizant of the movement of their mothers. Heart rates increased when moms turned or stopped walking or infants were separated from their mothers.
Infants in the study often woke up if they were put down to sleep in their cribs before getting about eight minutes of sleep. That’s why researchers suggest sitting with a sleeping baby for five to eight minutes after walking around so they go into a deeper sleep.
Source credit: The Hill