Both inexperienced and veteran parents alike have all suffered from the same experience: being unable to soothe their wailing baby after bedtime.
It can be extremely frustrating to hear the screams coming through your baby monitor night after night. Moreover, it can be nerve-wracking trying to soothe your infant and realizing that nothing works.
This universal experience prompted researchers from the RIKEN Center for Brain Science to figure out the best calm-down strategy that parents can add to their repertoire. And thankfully, their method is extremely simple.
Kumi Kuroda, one of the study’s corresponding authors, and her team began by studying the transport responses of numerous altricial mammals.
In other words, mammals that are too immature to care for themselves following birth, including dogs, mice, monkeys, and, of course, humans.
And interestingly, the researchers observed how when elders pick up their young and start walking to transport them, the bodies of their offspring typically become docile. Moreover, their heart rates slow.
So, the team hoped to compare the transport response effects of the various ways adult humans typically try to soothe their babies.
In turn, twenty-one infants’ responses were compared after being analyzed under four conditions. First, the babies were held by sitting mothers, then walking mothers. And finally, the babies laid in a still crib or a rocking cot.
And amazingly, the researchers found that infants who were held and walked by their mothers experienced slowed heart rates within just thirty seconds.
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