LONDON–Dr. Kal Memon at the CHI Saint Lawrence Pediatric Research Hospital said this week that recent research has shown that developing babies can reap great benefits from light to moderate shaking a few times a week.
“Brief, lightly intense shaking can release hormones in the brain that stimulate and accelerate intellectual development,” Memon explained, “But you have to be careful or you will kill the baby instantly.”
Dr. Memon says that a properly-shaken baby can expect to achieve a nearly 35% higher IQ than a baby that is never shaken.
“If you can learn to add few hard swirls in the middle of a moderate shake, there is also evidence that you can unlock greater athletic potential in a child,” Dr. Memon said, “But I would warn new parents against this, as this technique has an almost 75% mortality rate. Perhaps wait to try this on your second child.”
Dr. Memon recommends that new parents consult their pediatrician before beginning any baby-shaking regimen, as proper shaking requires a high skill level. But he adds that most clinics provide brochures that explain the basics.
“Low income families may want to try this option, instead of paying expensive co-pays,” Dr. Memon advised, “Even if they accidentally shake their baby to death, there is usually another one on the way. There is a chance they could raise a child whose success could pull them out of the cycle of poverty. The potential benefits far outweigh the risk.”