How to put a newborn back to sleep effectively in the middle of the night.

How do you comfort a screaming baby?

According to scientists at RIKEN Center for Brain Science (CBS) in Japan, you should walk then sit, to help you baby to stop crying.

Please note that the study involved infants aged 0-9 months old, with a mean age of 3.3 months. From a Swedish perspective, a newborn should ideally not fall asleep in one place (in the arms of the parent) to later wake up in another place (in its bed) when the parents are trying to sleep train the baby (fall asleep in the own bed and falling back to sleep in its own bed in case the baby wakes up in the middle of the night.)

What we are saying here, is that this method might help you when you have a newborn aged 0-4 months. If your baby is 4-6 months or older, it could potentially help your baby in the long run to stick to sleep training routines.

Hence, from a Swedish perspective, this method is suitable until sleep training might start around 4-6 months of age.

On another note, screaming is the newborns way of communicating. If your baby is trying to tell you that the diaper needs changing, the bum is red, your baby is hungry or has stomach ace, or just wants to know that you are there (feeling safe and loved) – then you might not need to walk for 5 minutes.

Also, if your baby continues to scream after 5 minutes, it does not mean that you have failed. It can mean that your baby is trying to tell you something you have not figured out yet, or that this method for some reason is not working for your baby right now. But it can be worth a shot!

Last but not least, take a deep breath and be kind and loving towards yourself. It is in our nature as parents to react when our babies are crying, and it can be tough. It can help both of you, if you are aware that your body might react out of instinct, but your mind doesn’t have to. Instead your mind can calm you and help you find some of that warm and loving patience you need that very moment.

A scientific recipe that helps babies stop crying:
the Japanese WALK THEN SIT method
  1. Your baby is screaming.
  2. Carry your baby for 5 minutes, while walking around. Your baby is comforted and sleepy.
  3. Sit and wait with your baby on your lap for 5-8 minutes before putting your baby down.
  4. The chance your baby will continue to sleep increases, when you follow these steps.

A video from the authors of the study, summarizes their findings:

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