A study published in the peer-reviewed journal Current Biology on Tuesday has revealed the best way to put a crying baby to sleep.
The study, which was led by researchers from the Riken Research Institute in Japan, analyzed 21 babies aged 7 months or younger. The participants’ mothers were recruited in Japan and Italy. The study, which tested the effects of four different actions, examined heart rates and also had the babies’ mothers carry them while walking, sit while holding them, rock them in a stroller and put them to bed.
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Of the participants tested, 46% fell asleep within five minutes when they were carried by their mothers while walking. Another 18% of the infants fell asleep within another few minutes, according to the study.
However, placing babies into their beds immediately after they fell asleep often led to them waking up. The researchers found that the infants entered a stable state of sleep when they were held for at least eight minutes while sitting down.
The researchers’ findings suggest that the best way to put crying babies to sleep is by walking with them for at least five minutes with no sudden movements, sitting and holding them for another eight minutes and then placing them gently into bed.
“I have raised four children and I performed these experiments, but even I couldn’t foresee the key results of this study until the statistical data came up,” co-author Kumi Kuroda said.