Gliding Beats Rocking For Your Baby’s Comfort

Rock-a-bye-baby, on the tree-top…

We all remember from childhood, don’t we, the lullaby that was sung to encourage a peaceful nap time. It is probably a good thing that we were too young to really analyse the lyrics. The lullaby ends with the cradle, baby and everything falling from the tree top. Which, when you stop to think about it, is a horrifying concept. But if you sing something in a soothing enough voice, it works as a lullaby.

Leaving aside the steep fall and all that comes with it, the lullaby references that soothing rocking motion. All new mothers come to know it pretty soon, as it lets the baby ease off to sleep in its mother’s (or father’s) arms. It needs to be gentle, of course – rocking too fast is a sure-fire recipe for breakfast making a sudden reappearance. But this soothing motion relaxes both parent and baby.


Image from Wikipedia

That motion is also why we have rocking chairs. Even if you’re not a parent, having a rocking chair in your home can be a way to wash away the stresses of the day. And if you do have a child, then the movement of the chair helps to relax and center you. This is often essential when you’re nursing a child, and if you hold the child while rocking in the chair it will ease their anxiety too.

Rocking chairs have been around for what now amounts to hundreds of years. During that time they have developed somewhat, and the principles of that rocking motion have been retained and refined. Now the most advanced equivalent has taken hold – the nursery glider. Instead of rocking back and forth on arced pieces of wood on the bottom of the leg, it moves on engineered rails.


Image from Pixabay

There are many reasons why this is a better way of ensuring that relaxation and reduction in blood pressure. For one thing, the motion is gentler and more stable for both parent and child. As you have more control over the motion, it works to ensure that you can allow your baby the most calming time. The best nursery glider will always be safer than a rocking chair. Weight is better distributed so there’s no worry about toppling over.

Additionally, anyone who has spent much time in a baby’s nursery knows about the importance of space. It may be that you need to pace for a while to get the best chance of soothing a crying child. It may be that you need to maximise nursery space which is essential for storage. It may very well be that baby has started to crawl and you need to ensure as clear a path as possible.

Whatever lullaby you choose to sing as you rock your baby off to sleep is entirely up to you; if you find “Rock-A-Bye Baby” works, keep going. On the other hand, if closer lyrical analysis has made you recoil in horror from the song, shop around. There are plenty of alternatives that are less hair-raising.

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