The Calming Head ‘Jiggle’ vs. Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)
Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) is a tragic problem where ~1300 babies are injured by their caregivers every year (25% die and 80% of the survivors are permanently brain damaged).
The #1 trigger of SBS is a crying baby (and the violent motion that a frustrated parent uses to shake the baby's head, usually whipping it roughly 1-2 feet back and forth).
I am happy to report that over the past 15 years, millions of parents have been taught the Happiest Baby 5 S’s to imitate the baby's soothing womb rhythms to turn on the Calming Reflex, and quickly soothe their baby's crying.
Can other types of movement cause SBS? The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome reports that SBS is not caused by "tossing a baby in the air, jogging with your baby or driving over bumps in your car.” They further state:
Accidental falls, even down stairways, are not generally the cause of brain injuries in infants. Household falls from furniture or down stairs most commonly result in minor trauma. High-velocity impact injuries, falls from extreme heights or falls onto extremely hard surfaces provide the opportunities for more severe injuries, like those seen in SBS injuries.
That’s why minor motion—like the 5 S’s swinging (or, as I describe it the Jell-O head jiggle)—is perfectly safe. In fact, for many babies, jiggly motion is the key to calming (quick little movements, 1-2 inches back and forth, like a bobble head). The 5 S’s are so effective for soothing, they can even help many colicky babies!
In fact, not only are the 5 S's safe…they are much better than safe! They help prevent SBS by giving parents the tools to calm persistent crying, so they don’t get so frustrated that they lose their tempers and accidentally injure the baby. For that reason, the 5 S's are taught in university hospitals and public health programs—in over 20 nations—to help support parents...and to reduce SBS.
Happiest Baby designed SNOO Smart Sleeper specifically to calm crying by giving babies 3 of the S’s (swaddling, sound and swinging). In fact, the tiny movement of the bed platform at SNOO’s top level sways less than 1/4 inch—back and forth—to each side. That's much less than the baby's head moves in the womb when a mom is hustling up the stairs or bobbing around in an exercise class. And, SNOO greatly increases baby safety by preventing accidental rolling to the stomach and improving infant sleep, so parents are less tempted to fall asleep with their baby sleep in an unsafe location (like on a sofa, arm chair or adult bed).
Bottom line: SNOO's motion can turn on the calming reflex and reduce infant crying. Our deepest hope is that - in that pivotal moment when a baby is crying inconsolably—we may be able to prevent the tragedy of SBSif a tired/frustrated caregiver chooses to use SNOO to help calm the baby...versus lashing out.