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The Relative Efficacy of Contact and Vestibular-Proprioceptive Stimulation in Soothing Neonates

Anneliese F. Korner and Evelyn B. Thoman
Child Development
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Jun., 1972), pp. 443-453
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1127547
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1127547
Page Count: 11
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Relative Efficacy of Contact and Vestibular-Proprioceptive Stimulation in Soothing Neonates
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Abstract

40 2- to 4-day-old healthy fullterm newborns, equally divided between males and females and breast- and bottle-fed infants, were given, in random order, 6 interventions which replicated common maternal soothing techniques. The interventions entailed, singly or in combination, contact and vestibular-proprioceptive stimulation with and without the upright position. Crying time was recorded for 30 sec during and after each intervention. Vestibular stimulation had a highly potent soothing effect both during and after the interventions. Contact had a lesser effect during, and none following, the interventions. The results suggest that the soothing effects usually attributed to contact comfort may be largely a function of vestibular-proprioceptive stimulation which attends most contacts between mother and child. Significant individual differences in soothability were found among the infants. While mode of feeding was not related to how much the infants cried while being soothed, breast-fed infants cried significantly more after the interventions, possibly because they were hungrier.

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