Family, Health, Resources

Baby crying? Researchers say to do this

September 18, 2022 by

Researchers say they have cracked the code on how to soothe fussy babies back to sleep. The winning process is the “5-Minute Carrying, 5-to-8-Minute Sitting”.

Photo: Pixabay

Nearly every newborn parent will deal with a crying baby who struggle to stop or go to sleep. There are endless solutions and tricks, but researchers say they have cracked the code. The best approach is a lot simpler than you would expect.

In the peer-reviewed study published by Current Biology led by Dr. Kumi Kuroda at the RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) in Japan, 21 infants were tested in 32 sessions using different methods of soothing to get babies back into their cribs. The best result was what researchers call the 5-Minute Carrying, 5-to-8-Minute Sitting. The study compared four scenarios: babies held by walking mothers, held by sitting mothers, lying in a crib and lying in a rocking motion. The other scenarios produced mixed results.

How to do the 5-Minute Carrying, 5-to-8-Minute Sitting

  • With your baby in your arms, walk around for 5 minutes. The lulling movement soothes crying and promotes sleep
  • Before placing your baby down for sleep, sit with them in your arms for 5-to-8 minutes. The stop-start motion helps prevent infants from waking after being laid down

“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,” Dr. Kuroda, said in a statement. “But our experiment did not support these general assumptions.”

The research done supports the transport response, something Kuroda and her team have discovered before in that baby mammals – including humans – feel calmness when carried by their mothers.

Not the Only Solution

While this method provides better results, it isn’t the only way to get babies to sleep, and it may not work for every baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics says parents could put their babies to bed when they are drowsy, and not to rush them back to sleep if they wake up.

About about 20%–30% of infants cry “excessively and exhibit sleep difficulties” for no known reason, the researchers say, and their goal was to provided an immediate solution for parents. More research is needed to determine if this method could improve sleep long-term, the team determined.

Helpful Resource

See videos of the 5-Minute Carrying, 5-to-8-Minute Sitting (RIKEN, Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution founded in 1917)

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