If you're pro crying babies, skip this story (and maybe do some soul searching). If you're ANTI crying babies, listen up - scientists just found the single most effective way to lull a bawling baby to sleep.
According to a recent study conducted at the Riken Centre for Brain Science in Japan, a two-step "walk-sit" approach is the sob-stopping ticket:
- Hold the infant snugly against your body and walk for five minutes at a steady pace, avoiding abrupt stops or turns. The gentle motion lowers the baby’s heart rate and makes it sleepy.
- After the stroll, sit for five minutes with the baby, who will now likely be asleep. Then, transfer it to its crib or other sleeping quarters.
What’s the science behind this sleep-inducing sorcery? For mammals, being carried by mom triggers a deeply soothing sensation in infants called the "transport response."
Ever seen a dog or cat pick up its young by the scruff of the neck and carry it around? Same phenomenon!
Researchers did, however, cite a key caveat in this study. When babies weren’t crying, walking with them didn’t have the same sleep-inducing effect. Why? Most likely, infants cry because they’re tired. If they aren't crying, they probably don't need a nap.