Soft whispers and gentle rocking are perfect for calm babies. But fretful infants need a bit more vigor to help them calm and fall asleep. This sounds as wrong as the advice to add a slimy, raw egg to a cake mix…yet it’s definitely the best way to calm very fussy babies!
Think of turning on the calming reflex like getting someone’s attention. If a person is engaged in a heated argument, you may have to tap his shoulder several times––very emphatically––just to get him to respond.
Vigor is exactly why vacuum sounds and car rides on bumpy roads calm babies. And it’s why grabbing the swing seat and giving some fast––but tiny––jiggles is essential to flip on the calming reflex in a screaming, motion-loving baby.
(Of course, you must never shake your baby! When jiggling, always support your baby’s head and neck, and keep your movements to just about 1 inch back and forth.)
Read: The Difference Between the Calming Head Jiggle vs. Shaken Baby Syndrome
Think of baby calming as a dance…and your little love is leading. When he’s wailing, do the 5 S's with more intensity in your shush and jiggle. Then, as he calms, gradually reduce your effort and guide him down to a soft landing where he is swaddled with white noise (as loud as a shower), and perhaps some sucking or gentle rocking.