How to put a crying baby to sleep, the scientific way
The solution is a magic pair of numbers – five and eight – according to Japanese researchers who did experiments with 21 moms trying to lull their little ones into slumber.
Here’s how it works: Walk your baby for a minimum of five minutes with no sudden movements, at which time the little one will be calm, if not asleep, according to the study. Then sit and hold baby for another eight minutes before making a gentle crib transfer.
Placing the sleeping infant in the bed without first sitting quietly for a full eight minutes ended in disappointment, according to study coauthor Dr. Kumi Kuroda, team leader of the affiliative social behavior unit at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science in Saitama, Japan.
Parents and caregivers shouldn’t use this technique regularly if a baby can fall asleep on their own, added Shu, who is also the coauthor of “Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality.”
“The goal should be to make sure baby is getting good sleep using this or other techniques while eventually encouraging them to fall asleep on their own, both at the beginning of bedtime, as well as through the night (when they wake),” Shu said in an email.