We are all aware of the calming effects of rocking and soft movement to send babies off into a gentle slumber, but what exactly is behind the power of the rocking motion?
There have been many studies into the science behind this soothing method, so read on to discover the benefits and best techniques for rocking your baby to sleep.
Why does Rocking a Baby to Sleep Work?
You may have noticed that trying to soothe your crying baby whilst standing still with them in your arms doesn’t have quite the same effect as if you were to walk or move around with them.
A Japanese Study by researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute supports this and explains that when a parent carries their baby, a calming reaction is triggered by a combination of cardiac, motor and central regulations in our little one’s bodies.
Gentle rocking can slow babies’ heart rates and activate motion detectors in their nervous systems, highlighting that this response is built-in and instinctual. It’s suggested that the rocking movement may also mimic the motion your baby experienced inside the womb.
The Benefits of Rocking Your Baby to Sleep
The use of motion to lull babies to sleep has been found to shorten the time it takes for them to drift off as well as promoting a more deep, restful sleep and preventing wake ups during the night.
If this was 100% true for all babies all of the time, every parent would be spritely and wide-eyed come morning, but we know all too well that every baby is different and there are a multitude of reasons why they might struggle to settle.
Although there’s no guarantee that your baby will fall asleep when rocking, being close by when settling them will help reinforce the bond between you both. Some argue that rocking a baby to sleep may hinder their ability to self-settle, however experts advise that weaning little ones out of the habit of being rocked to sleep is easy enough.
How to Rock Your Baby to Sleep
Keep a close eye on how your baby reacts to your rocking and try a range of different movements and positions. Some babies may prefer you to stand upright and gently sway them side to side whereas others might settle quicker if you’re cuddling them on a . If your baby has reflux you may need to lay them upright to keep them comfortable.
The important thing is to see how your baby reacts to each position to make sure you’re doing more of the movements that settle them the most.
The Moro reflex is your baby’s response to feeling like they’re falling. You can help prevent this reaction when rocking by keeping your little one close to your body, or you could try laying them down in a rocking cradle.
Babies may be tiny but cradling them in your arms whilst standing for a long period of time will eventually lead to back strain. That’s where rocking furniture comes in handy, providing a comfortable and cosy space for your baby to rest whilst mum or dad can rest up too.
With a smooth rocking motion, the is designed to provide comfort for both mother and baby whilst cuddling or nursing. Combined with the matching , this stylish rocking chair is designed to offer much-needed support during those early stages. Beyond the nursery it can be used to create a cosy reading nook where you can teach your child to read or read them their favourite bedtime story as they drift off to sleep.
We hope we’ve provided an insight into the power of the rocking motion, allowing you to find a soothing solution that works for both you and your little one. If you have any questions about our rocking furniture, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team.