Comparison between swinging and playing of white noise among colicky babies: A paired randomised controlled trial

J Clin Nurs. 2018 Feb;27(3-4):593-600. doi: 10.1111/jocn.13928. Epub 2017 Nov 3.


Aims and objective: This study aimed to compare the effects of swinging and playing of white noise on the crying and sleeping durations of colicky babies.

Background: Infantile colic (IC) is one of the most common reasons for doctor visits among babies younger than 3 months. One of five babies older than 3 months also experiences IC. IC, unlike gastrointestinal problems, is regarded as an individual differentiation and maturation of the central nervous system. Providing a warm bath, breastfeeding, swinging and playing of white noise are nonpharmacological methods. The efficiency of these methods has been proven by various studies independently of one another.

Design: The study is a prospective, multicentre, paired randomised controlled trial.

Methods: The study was conducted between April-December 2016. The study sample consisted of 40 1-month-old babies with gas pains who passed a hearing screening and their mothers. The total daily crying and sleeping durations of the babies were determined without any intervention on the first week. On the second week, 20 randomly selected babies (first group) were swung each time they cried, and on the third week, they were made to listen to white noise. The other 20 babies (second group) were made to listen to white noise on the second week and were swung on the third week. Swinging and playing of white noise were performed until the babies stopped crying. After every intervention, the total crying and sleeping durations of the babies were evaluated using a "Colicky Baby's Diary."

Results: Playing of white noise significantly decreased the daily crying durations (p < .05) and increased the sleeping durations of the colicky babies (p < .05) compared to swinging in both groups.

Conclusion: Playing of white noise was found to be a more effective nonpharmacological method on crying and sleeping durations of colicky babies than swinging.

Relevance to clinical practice: Playing of white noise may be helpful for parents and healthcare personnel in reducing the gas pains of babies.

Keywords: baby; care; colic; nursing; swinging; white noise.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Colic / psychology
  • Colic / therapy*
  • Crying*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Behavior*
  • Infant Care / methods
  • Male
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Noise*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Time Factors