The Most Effective Method to Comfort a Crying Baby, According to Scientists

The reality of having a baby is that your days won’t always be filled with giggles and adorable moments. It can be messy, tiring, frustrating, and especially noisy. Once the nonstop crying starts, you’ll suddenly feel like crying as well. Figuring out what they want is a crazy mind game since infants aren’t capable of verbal expressions. This situation leads to countless sleepless nights. It seems like you have tried everything, but the crying continues.

Photo: Pexels/Antoni Shkraba

Parents really do deserve recognition for handling crying sessions. For this reason, it’s only right to help them find a quicker way to comfort a baby. Interestingly, scientists from Japan researched this matter, and the team devised an effective hack to easily help the infant stop crying within five minutes. Scientists from Riken Centre for Brain Science have already published their work in an online journal, Current Biology Science.

Photo: Unsplash/Toa Heftiba

“Many parents suffer from babies’ nighttime crying. That’s a big issue, especially for inexperienced parents, that can lead to parental stress and even to infant maltreatment in a small number of cases,” Kumi Kuroda, one of the authors, explained. Their experiment involved 21 seven-month-old infants who all underwent various methods of comfort. The basis of the study was the transport response of altricial mammals such as mice, dogs, monkeys, and humans.

According to their observation, animals holding their babies while walking helped the infant to relax and slow down their heart rate. For better analysis, the team compared four methods to see the difference in transport response. They tried carrying the baby while sitting down, swaying in the stroller, holding them while walking, and lying in a crib. The researchers used a baby ECG monitor and video cameras to observe each participant.

Photo: Pixabay/joffi

Among the four methods, holding the baby while walking showed the fastest response. The infant already calmed down after 30 seconds — movement slows down their heart rate. It also clarified that maternal holding is insufficient to ease the child’s frustration. Motion triggers their transport response. At the experiment’s end, the participants’ crying sounds stopped, and most fell asleep.

Photo: Pixnio/Marko Milivojevic

However, one-third of the infants started to shed tears after 20 seconds when the mother attempted to lay them down in the crib. The key to avoiding that mistake was to wait until the baby was deeply asleep. Then you can slowly lay them down in a crib. In conclusion, the study suggests that parents should carry their child and walk for five minutes. For further effectiveness, try to combine walking and sitting down while holding the infant for another five to eight minutes.

“Even as a mother of four, I was very surprised to see the result. I thought baby awoke during a laydown is related to how they’re put on the bed, such as their posture, or the gentleness of the movement,” Kuroda said. “For many, we intuitively parent and listen to other people’s advice on parenting without testing the methods with rigorous science. But we need science to understand a baby’s behavior, because they’re much more complex and diverse than we thought,” she added.

People, Pets & Planet

Help where it’s needed most at GreaterGood for free!