This is the anxiety of many parents: how to calm a crying baby? Researchers at the Riken Institute Brain Science Center in Wako, near Tokyo, Japan, have compared four techniques for calming a crying baby for no apparent reason: either pick him up and sit down, or pick him up in his arms and walk, third possibility, rock him in a stroller or finally leave him calm in his bed.
Result: it is best to move around with your baby in your arms. Better still, they believe that the optimal strategy is to walk for five minutes with the child against you, then sit with him for another five to eight minutes, even if he is already asleep. And only then can you put him to bed. According to tests, it calms nearly 60% of children, because being carried activates a relaxation reflex found in many mammals. When a “baby” (cat dog tiger or monkey) is carried by its mother, it calms down and its heart rate slows down.
In any case, these works published in Current Biology do not surprise Doctor Philippe Grandsenne who is a pediatrician. Even if he believes that what matters above all is that the parents take the baby in their arms and reassure him. Sitting or standing, for five minutes or more: it doesn’t matter, for him, there is no single recipe.
We sometimes also hear that white noises, regular, monotonous noises like that of a hair dryer or the rain calm a baby’s crying, it’s
sometimes true. According to a British study, white noise calms babies in 80% of cases. This is three times more than in the control group without white noise. That being said, pediatricians explain to you that the voice of the parents, sweet words, a song, a story, it works just as well.
In any case, a crying baby should be comforted. A baby’s cries are not whims, but the expression of a need, and sometimes it’s a need for emotional security. The ideal is to reassure them. It will not make them less independent, explain the doctors, and on the contrary, it will give them a feeling of confidence. On all these questions: the site of the Ministry of Health 1000 first days. fr, is a mine of advice.