Monday, January 22, 2007

Daddy Magic: Sway - How to Gently Bounce your Baby to Sleep

The Second S of the 5 S's (Swaddle, Sway, Shh, Side, Suck) is Sway.

(The 5 S's are from The Happiest Baby on the Block. But these specifics are pure Daddy Magic...)

The act of "Sway" is gently bouncing your child to calm him down and lull him to sleep (or to just calm him down).

You can do this if he is in a baby carrier by rocking the carrier with your foot, by lifting the carrier up and lowering it back down (up and down), or by gently swinging the carrier back and forth.

You can do this in a shopping cart or stroller by pushing the cart, stroller, or baby carriage away from you and then pulling it back toward you (back and forth). This will help when walking or shopping.

And, when you are lulling your baby to sleep, you'll want to walk around (or stand) and bounce the baby on several levels of your body.

(1) You'll be bouncing off your heels. You'll roll upward to your toes. This creates a bouncing motion.

(2) Bend your legs to get more of a soft bounce as you move your body up and down.

(3) Lift your arms up and down as well. Let them act as a shock absorber to your body bouncing.

The end result is that your body movements will feel like a bungie cord (without the bungie drop). Your movements are fluid and relaxing. This will remind your infant of being in the womb where he was in fluid and body tissues that softened your harsh movements.

After doing this for awhile, if your baby is still not asleep, he will probably be calm enough where you can sit down. You can sit down in a rocker and use the rocker movements and your arm movements to lull your baby to sleep. Or you can sit on a bed or couch, lightly bounce your body on your seat, and bounce your arms. Eventually he will fall asleep.

Not only is this a great exercise for getting your baby to nap and go to sleep at night, but this is also good for calming your baby down from tantrums where you are only trying to get him to stop screaming. This can also be used to calm toddlers who are having tantrums.

If your toddler is having a tantrum, pick her up and console her! Don't let her cry in public! You are telling her that behavior is okay, and you're being rude to those around you! I had to do this the other day with an eating baby in my other arm (so the bottle was wedged under my neck). And I still picked up my toddler, bounced her, and calmed her down. So do it!!! Thanks. =^)


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