Exhausted parents will do just about anything to get their crying baby to stop and go to sleep, but new research suggests there’s actually an easy fix that does the trick. Scientists in Japan have come up with a specific formula they claim is the “recipe” to get a crying infant to sleep.
Researchers with the RIKEN Center for Brain Science tested different techniques on 21 crying babies and compared their responses using baby EKG machines and video cameras to compare changes in a baby’s heart rate and behavior. And according to the results of the study, the best way to soothe a fussy little one is a three-step process:
- The caregiver walks and carries the baby in their arms for five minutes, without any sudden turns.
- Then sits down holding the baby for five to eight minutes
- And finally, the caregiver puts the baby in their crib.
The scientists found that if a baby is carried by a walking caregiver for five minutes, the baby calms down and their heart rate decreases within 30 seconds. But if the walking stops or the caregiver turns abruptly, the child’s heart rate increases. The results show that holding the babies after walking is key, even if they seem to be in a deep sleep, because without that step, more than a third of the babies woke up within 20 seconds.