The scientific method to put a crying baby to sleep – Sciences et Avenir

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Bébé qui pleure

Many anxious parents can finally breathe. In fact, an Italian-Japanese study proposes a two-step procedure to soothe and put a crying baby to sleep. These results, published in the journal Current Biology, involve only mothers but are valid for any other relative of the baby. Five minutes of moving transport followed by 8 minutes of sitting transport before putting the child to bed: this is the soothing formula proposed by researchers at the Riken Center for Brain Sciences in Japan and the University of Trento in Italy for putting a baby crying to sleep. To reach this conclusion, the researchers used previous observations made on altricial or altricial mammals, that is, whose young are born without the ability to move and feed (such as dogs, mice, monkeys, etc.). In these animals, they describe a physiological and behavioral relief during transport, a phenomenon they call the “transport response”. Walk the baby for 5 minutes To test the modalities in humans, the researchers used cameras and heart rate monitors to monitor the reactions of 21 babies between 0 and 7 months, accompanied by their mothers. To comfort their crying babies, mothers tried four strategies: carrying the child while walking, carrying the child in a sitting position, pushing the child in a moving stroller or crib, or placing the child in a still bed. Just the movement, especially when being carried, had a calming effect on the babies and their heart rates, and within the first 30 seconds. Observations that contradict the general assumption that the simple fact of being held by the mother reduces infant distress. “After 5 minutes of being carried while walking, 5 of the 11 babies (45%) were asleep and none cried at the end,” the scientists find. They advise walking on a flat, clear path at a steady pace, preferably without sudden stops or turns, as babies’ heart rates increased when mothers turned or stopped walking. Carry the baby in a sitting position for 5 to 8 minutes before putting him down Once the baby is asleep or not far from him, the first instinct will be to put the baby in his bed. Unfortunately, it is doubly or not at all, because the fact that the mother lifts sleeping babies in a crib can interrupt or deepen the babies’ sleep. It is more precisely when the baby is separated from its mother that its heart rate increases the most, to the point that 9 of the 26 (35%) sleeping infants woke up 20 seconds after being put to bed. How should it be done in this case, to put the baby who in the 5 minutes of walking has managed to calm down or fall asleep? Sit with the baby still in your arms, say researchers. Of the 13 infants who remained asleep after being placed in their cribs, 9 had been carried by their mother first while walking and then while sitting. But be careful, the sitting transport phase should not be too short, even if the baby seems to be asleep. According to the researchers, the key is to wait 5 to 8 minutes, the time for your sleep to deepen, before you let it fall. This window of time “roughly corresponds to the length of the first stage of sleep (about 8 minutes in 4-5 month old babies),” they explain, so sitting would be the winning formula for many babies. “Even as a mother of four children, I was very surprised to see this result. smoothness of movement,” Kumi Kuroda, who led this work, is surprised. She hopes the data will help promote “science-based parenting education.” “Around 20 to 30% of babies cry excessively and have sleep disturbances for no apparent reason, which causes stress to parents and can even trigger impulsive acts of abuse in a small number of cases,” points out the researcher, which can have serious consequences. such as shaken baby syndrome (SBS), which is the most common cause of traumatic death in infants in high-income countries. Non-lethal forms of SBS are associated with severe morbidity in long-term conditions such as neurodevelopmental disorders (epilepsy, motor and visual impairments, language disorders, intellectual disabilities and behavioral abnormalities) with disability for all life Due to the confinements linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, the incidence of SBS remained stable in 2020 and then doubled in 2021 and its mortality multiplied by 9 in the Ille-de-France region , reveals a study.
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