The Happiest Baby on the Block: Swinging


The fourth S, as discussed in Chapter 11, is Swinging. “Swinging refers to all manner of rhythmic motions” (page 158). Karp says the swinging is another item that turns on the calming reflex. Here are some ways he lists for swinging (page 156):

  • Baby slings and carriers: Karp states, “Babies adore infant carriers” (page 156), but I have to say, both of mine hated them.
  • Dancing
  • Infant swings
  • Rhythmic pats on the back or bottom
  • Hammocks
  • Rocking in a rocking chair
  • Car Rides
  • Vibrating bouncy seats
  • Bouncing on an exercise ball
  • Brisk walks

Karp says for a really fussy baby, the swinging must be fast and jiggly. To successfully apply the swing (page 158):

  • Start out fast and jiggly.
  • The movement of the head, not the body, turns the reflex on. But please, be cautious of damaging baby’s head. Remember, tiny movements. Do not whip head around, which would cause shaken baby syndrome (page 160)
  • Follow baby’s lead. Just like with the Shh…, the intensity of the jiggling should reflect the intensity of the crying.

Swings (page 168):

  • Karp says babies can easily be weaned from swings by 5 months of age.
  • Karp says a swing will not calm a screaming baby, but it keeps a baby calm and lulls him to sleep.
  • Karp says to swaddle, buckle baby in, recline seat as far as it will go, and use the fastest swing speed.

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13 thoughts on “The Happiest Baby on the Block: Swinging”

  1. My DH and I found a great method for movement when William was colicky. DH started bouncing on the edge of the bed while holding William. Then he bought one of those big exercise balls. We would sit on it while holding him (swaddled, shh’ing, etc.) and bounce. It worked like a charm. It kept him calm and it was pretty much the only way he would sleep. We still have the ball but never had to blow it up for Lucas!

  2. Hi- I have a question regarding my 11 month old. Over the past 2 wks, I have had the hardest time for his 2nd nap. He usually wakes at 730p, he goes down for AM nap at 10am and usually at 230 for 2nd nap. He won’t fall asleep for 2nd nap, he usually “talks” for 45 minutes, then starts crying or starts crying immediately (and not just whimpering, he’s full out crying). Isn’t it too early for just one nap? I’m fine with just one nap but it’s seems like he’s exhausted by 10am, so if he needs a nap that early you would think he would need another nap between 12noon-730pm. any help/suggestions would be appeciated!!

  3. Hi- This is my first time leaving a comment/question so I just wanted to thank you for the many hours that you put into this blog in order to help so many moms who have so many questions (like me)! My question is about my 8 month old who sleeps from 7pm to 7am. He is like his mommy and needs lots of sleep! 🙂 For the past three weeks he will wake up anywhere from 5:30am to 6:30am after pooping in his diaper. On the mornings that he doesn’t poop he sleeps until 7am. But he is consistently waking up early 3-4 mornings a week. Once he is awake there is no going back to sleep and of course this messes up his schedule for the rest of the day. I know that there isn’t much I can do about his pooping schedule but was wondering if you had ever heard of a situation like this or maybe other mothers out there have experienced this? Is it just a phase? Will his bathroom schedule change? I appreciate any input.

  4. The Lotts, I experienced the same thing with my son waking with a poopy diaper slightly earlier than normal. What I did was I switched veggies to lunchtime and now I feed fruits like applesauce at dinner time since those are less likely to trigger a bowel movement. Similarly, you can keep juice and yogurt to earlier meals in the day too. It took about a week for that schedule change to fully have an effect on his morning poops and they are much less frequent.

  5. Thanks Kyle, Amanda and Tobia. I am also dealing with a problem just like the Lotts. I’ll try less juice in the evening. My little guy isn’t eating many veggies (we just started solids) or fruits but he does drink some watered down juice with his evening meal. I’ll have to give your suggestions a try!

  6. My 12 month old will often poop after I put her down for a nap. Then she won’t go to sleep (for obvious reasons). It’s so hard for me to determine whether I should go it because it only happens sometimes…other times she’s just taking a little longer than usual to fall asleep (I’m playing with wake times). I’m starting to wonder if she is a “private pooper”. Was it Brayden that was like that?

  7. Kyle, Amanda, and Tobias, Thank you for your input. I actually already feed him vegetables only at lunch time and cereal + fruit in the afternoon/evening. He gets breastmilk before bed. I haven’t given him any juice or yogurt yet. Those are very good ideas but they don’t seem to apply or be the reason for his early morning poops. Any other thoughts?

  8. Reds, see this post:Dropping the Morning Nap (from 2 to 1 naps): Transition Time :

  9. Lotts,I have heard of this. I think it does usually stop, but I don’t know how long or why. I would be sure there isn’t something that is waking him even slightly at that time of day to make his body go. This is TMI, but right now I am waking a bit at about 5:00/5:30 as my husband is getting for work, then I must go to the bathroom. Weekends, I don’t have that problem since he is in bed.

  10. Yes, Jennifer, Brayden was (and is) like that. Kaitlyn is not as private, she will poop at times with people around, but as she is potty training I am coming to see she is a private pooper 90% of the time.


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