Clapping to Calm

Here at Snuggleosophy, we don’t just want to tell you what’s going on in our lives, we want to give you real, applicable advice for your life.

That’s where Tip-Day Tuesday comes into play! Every Tuesday we will give you a quick, applicable tip/hack to help you and the children in your busy life.

Today’s tip is:

Clapping to Calm

baby holding hand

I’m not talking about giving your baby a standing ovation. I mean, slow, rhythmic clapping.

Sounds insane?

Well, I came across this one night when I was trying to get Amanda to calm down in the car on the way home from my in-law’s. It was dark, so she couldn’t see us in her car mirror and she was feeling lonely. From the front seat, she couldn’t quite hear my singing over her wailing.

Then, my instincts told me to start clapping with the rhythm so that she could hear the beat. I did, and I slowed the beat down a bit to try to calm her and sang along with the rhythm. She stopped crying almost immediately and after a couple minutes of this, she fell right to sleep.

It was amazing.

This wasn’t a one off chance either. So far, it has worked every time. She calms down, listens to the beat, and usually will fall asleep within minutes.

Through experimentation, I noticed that if I clap at the approximate rate of my heartbeat, that is what she prefers, whether I am singing or not. It makes sense, since she was listening to my heart for 9 months!

Amanda is now 15 months old and it still works. So if you’re at your wit’s end with a fussy baby, try clapping to calm! It’s free, natural, and you literally have nothing to lose.

Let us know if you try it and if it works for you! Leave us a comment below or shoot us an email at snuggleosophy@gmail.com.

Caitlin is the managing director of Snuggleosophy and the mother of 1-1/2 year old Amanda. She has lived as an expat in Santiago, Chile for the past 7 years and speaks English and Spanish fluently. She loves to promote reading for children starting from birth as well as multilingual and multicultural parenting. For her day job, she is a pricing and transportation analyst for international freight.

10 comments

  1. I never thought to try this! My son always calmed down when I would pat on his back or bottom when he was a little baby, so this might just work now that he’s 14 months. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Wow I’m definitely going to try this!! My little one is only five months and gets a bit agitated in the back of the car especially if it’s dark. It makes sense if you think about it, especially going at a heartbeat rate. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Let us know if you try it and if it works! In the dark, Amanda gets super fussy, so it is a godsend. She usually calms down and goes to sleep within a few minutes. Sometimes it takes a bit longer, but I try to pair it with her favorite songs, and that seems to help the most.

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