Why You Don’t Calm Your Baby By Rocking
Today’s topic is about rocking your baby to sleep. Should you or shouldn’t you? Does your baby find it more difficult to calm down when he’s being rocked?
When the baby is agitated or crying, the first reaction we have when trying to calm him, is to rock him up and down. We don’t even realize what we’re doing, it’s an automatic reaction! And the more the baby cries or is agitated, the more energetic we become when rocking or bouncing him.
What this actually does is rev him up when he needs to relax.
Rocking the baby jiggles his insides which might cause reflux or an upset stomach.
Babies love smooth movement, which brings them to calm quickly. This calm will not be achieved when your baby has the feeling of being on a rollercoaster!
Here’s a simple Listening Touch technique to calm your baby:
In this example it was way past the baby girl’s bedtime but there were lots of kids and noise distracting her. She felt she was missing out on the action. But she was tired and the continual smooth gliding movement and hand placements helped her relax.
Firstly, the gliding movement is done with feet spread apart and knees slightly bent. You can gently sway your upper body. You may feel more comfortable moving your feet with your upper body. Step gently from side to side, creating a smooth, flowing movement.
Hold your baby by wrapping one arm around her back with your hand supporting her bottom. The forearm is resting on the lower back and tailbone, releasing tension and excess energy.
The second hand is placed across the neck and upper back. Take a close look at where the fingers are resting. They are reaching a number of comforting areas of the body. The tips of the thumb and forefinger reach the back of the ears while the forefinger is resting on the back of the head. The middle finger is resting on the neck, the ring finger on the shoulder and the little finger on the shoulder blade. ALL of these areas release tension and provide comfort, support and calm.
It’s not necessary that your fingers have to rest on all of the areas of the head and upper back at the same time.
The exact hand placement in this picture wasn’t done on purpose, the hand and fingers automatically rested in these areas, where they gave the best support.
To learn more, watch my video Here’s Why Rocking Your Baby Doesn’t Work.
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