Some infants cry excessively and have trouble falling asleep for no apparent reason, and there are countless methods and recommendations for how to sooth them. Now, researchers from the Riken Center for Brain Science in Saitama have suggested an approach that appears to work better than others: "5-min carrying, 5- to 8- min sitting." The study was limited to 21 infants, and your mileage may vary for a multitude of reasons, but if you're the parent of the infant, you'll try anything. From The Guardian:
The insight emerged from research on altricial mammals – those that are helpless at birth – such as cats, dogs, mice, squirrels and, notably, humans. Studies show that when carried by their mothers, the young become more docile, an effect called the "transport response". Because animals often move their young to evade imminent danger, the response may have evolved through improved offspring survival rates.
And here are the highlights from their scientific paper published in the journal Current Biology:
• Infant cry is attenuated by transport, but not by motionless holding
• 5-min transport promotes sleep for crying infants even in the daytime
• Laydown of sleeping infants into a cot either interrupts or deepens infants' sleep
• Laydown at 5 to 8 min after the sleep onset tends to prevent infant awakening