Take a pat and fall asleep

  Sleep plays an important role in our daily life. When you don’t get enough sleep or the quality of sleep is not good, you will experience weakness of limbs, unresponsiveness, lethargy, lack of energy, etc., and the state of the whole person will be very poor.
  Sleep is even more important for babies who sleep most of the day, not only affecting their early development but also having long-term effects throughout their lives. Good sleep is conducive to the development and maturity of the infant’s central nervous system, laying a good foundation for physical growth and the development of various abilities. Studies have shown that sleep problems can predict cognitive ability, executive function, attention and behavior problems in infants later and are associated with problems such as overweight and obesity in children of school age.
  In order to let the baby have a good sleep, when he can’t sleep and cry in the middle of the night, many parents will gently pick him up, pat him carefully, and coax him to sleep. Have you ever wondered about this common phenomenon: Why does a baby fall asleep with just one tap?
  This magical “slap” action seems to work more on a psychological level.
  For infants less than a year old, the womb of a mother who has lived for several months is a more familiar environment. After birth, he faced a new world full of unknowns. The world is full of colors, lights, and sounds he has never seen before, and he may lack trust and security. The warm embrace and gentle tapping of the parents, through gentle physical contact, make the baby feel more at ease and make it easier for the baby to fall asleep.
  Another feature of life in the womb is the sound of the mother’s heartbeat. So if you hug the baby and put its head close to the adult’s heart, the baby will feel the sound of the heartbeat, and it will be easier for the baby to fall asleep. Rhythmic, gentle tapping can simulate this, giving the baby the illusion that the heartbeat is accompanying itself, making it easier to fall asleep.
  Not only that, the rhythmic tapping is similar to hypnotism, and the monotonous and repetitive stimulation allows the baby to slowly enter a hypnotic state and relax both physically and mentally. In the same way, tools such as rocking cradles also have a similar effect, so some parents usually use tools such as cradles, rocking beds and other tools to gently shake them when coaxing their babies to sleep to guide their babies to sleep.
  But in fact, cuddling to sleep is a bad sleep habit, which reflects that the baby has a certain degree of difficulty falling asleep and needs auxiliary means to fall asleep. Therefore, in many related studies, researchers will advocate that parents should actively correct such bad sleep habits, and reduce the difficulty of falling asleep and improve sleep quality by establishing appropriate sleep circadian rhythms and creating a good sleep environment for infants.