Effective rocking bed for a child

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I would like to create a rocking bed that mimics the rocking motion of my legs
Hello everyone! I'm a mum and for a while now my child who is getting older has this habit of using me as a rocker (she sleeps on the pillow while I rock her on my legs) . I used to have the exact same habit so I kind of get her 😃 My question is : can I swap these tired legs of mine for an automayic rocking bed thay can simulate that type of rocking? (Left<->right) and be a bit faster. Was thinking to add a motor to a sort of curved wooden plate. Need anything else? What's the process? Thanks!
 
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  • #2
Welcome to PF.

Many solutions in the form of rocking cradles or cribs have been made. The possibilities are endless. There are too many solutions.

What cradle or crib do you now use?
Can it be modified to rock at the required rate?
The driving mechanism selected, will need to operate quietly.

Google 'rocking cradle for baby' to see simple commercial solutions.
 
  • #3
Welcome to PF.

Loredana03 said:
Was thinking to add a motor to a sort of curved wooden plate. Need anything else?
Have you looked into how other rocking cradle mechanisms work? That seems like a good place to start. :smile:
 
  • #4
Loredana03 said:
TL;DR Summary: I would like to create a rocking bed that mimics the rocking motion of my legs

Was thinking to add a motor to a sort of curved wooden plate.
Are you planning a DIY solution? Do you have skills and equipment. This is a non-trivial project.

I remember organising a similar sort of device as a demo on a TV 'Science' programme. They used a rocking cradle ( borrowed for free because the broadcaster is a excellent scrounger) and an old washing machine motor / gearbox / crank. It looked fine for about two minutes on the show and was fairly gentle. But I wouldn't have even considered putting and leaving one of my kids in it overnight. The idea is frankly scary without taking months of design and trials. the child would be of school age before a safe and suitable model emerged.

Have you looked at what's available on the market? There are things available for about 100GBP, so I found. Money well spent imo.
 
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  • #5
sophiecentaur said:
Are you planning a DIY solution? Do you have skills and equipment. This is a non-trivial project.

I remember organising a similar sort of device as a demo on a TV 'Science' programme. They used a rocking cradle ( borrowed for free because the broadcaster is a excellent scrounger) and an old washing machine motor / gearbox / crank. It looked fine for about two minutes on the show and was fairly gentle. But I wouldn't have even considered putting and leaving one of my kids in it overnight. The idea is frankly scary without taking months of design and trials. the child would be of school age before a safe and suitable model emerged.

Have you looked at what's available on the market? There are things available for about 100GBP, so I found. Money well spent imo.
Hello!
The rocking cradles on the market are not strong enough for my child (she is 3) and very slow. Also,I would need something that imitates the motion of my legs when rocking from left to right. I know it's alot to ask...The rocking is quite fast that's why I don't know what to use. For babies those on the market are fine but for older children ,no...
 
  • #6
Baluncore said:
Welcome to PF.

Many solutions in the form of rocking cradles or cribs have been made. The possibilities are endless. There are too many solutions.

What cradle or crib do you now use?
Can it be modified to rock at the required rate?
The driving mechanism selected, will need to operate quietly.

Google 'rocking cradle for baby' to see simple commercial solutions.
Hey! I'm not using any rocking cradle just my legs and a pillow. So I would like to make something that imitates that. My child is 3 so I need something pretty strong and with a fast rocking motion. She always falls asleep like that. I have looked at other mechanisms but I couldn't find anything that resembles my idea...
 
  • #7
So, what axes of movement are you dealing with? You mentioned side to side, but is there any rolling motion?
 
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  • #8
Two side poles, like a stretcher, with a dip in the middle. Maybe with the right non-rigid suspension frame, she can be rocked, or she can rock herself to sleep.
Now, if you had a hammock, and lived on a small boat...

What would the rocking rate be?
It needs to be a resonant structure, to be low power and quiet.
 
  • #9
@Loredana03 If you look at how a rocking cradle moves, i'd suggest that what you want may not be that motion. I've tried to imagine what you describe and I think the movemnent on your child on your legs is not a rocking motion but a lateral oscillation. A rocking cradle is a design based on past possibilities so an alternative could well be better.
Loredana03 said:
She always falls asleep like that. I have looked at other mechanisms but I couldn't find anything that resembles my idea..
I imagine you have a 'perfect' solution in your head but you will need to be more specific about what your child's needs are.
Flyboy said:
So, what axes of movement are you dealing with? You mentioned side to side, but is there any rolling motion?
Anything you build must address those questions and have some quantitative answers.
1. How long / wide / deep does the cot need to be? Start with a suitable cot that holds her comfortably. I would imagine that 'swinging' (suspended at the top`) would be better than 'rocking' (which tilts outwards and has an axis underneath)
1713620512061.png

2. How heavy is she? How active is she? (Affects how stout and heavy the mechanism needs to be)
3. How much lateral motion would you need? Measure the movements of your legs
4. What range of oscillation rates (e.g. rocks per minute) do you need?

To make it go, you would need a motor / gearbox and speed control and a way to link it to the bottom of the basket.

A lot of serious engineering questions here and all need addressing.

Your information, so far seems to imply some special needs requirements so do you already have contacts in that branch of your local services? It may be worth looking in that direction before going too far along Physics Forums lines. PF is full of very handy enthusiasts for whom DIY jobs are no trouble and PF advice is often angled that way. It tends not to be universally applicable.
 
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  • #10
Loredana03 said:
my child (she is 3)
That's probably old enough to just string up a small hammock. That way she can rock herself at her own pace. :smile:
 
  • #11
berkeman said:
That's probably old enough to just string up a small hammock. That way she can rock herself at her own pace. :smile:
That’s just the sort of thing I meant about PF members. (We can’t help it. 🤪)
 
  • #12
Loredana03 said:
Hey! I'm not using any rocking cradle just my legs and a pillow. So I would like to make something that imitates that. My child is 3 so I need something pretty strong and with a fast rocking motion. She always falls asleep like that. I have looked at other mechanisms but I couldn't find anything that resembles my idea...
Welcome, @Loredana03 ! :smile:

Do you have a bed or platform to replace your legs with?
Do you need to start from scratch?
Do you have electric service and access to a mid-size electric motor?

This website may have some useful ideas for your project:
https://507movements.com/toc.html
 
  • #13
Lnewqban said:
Do you have a bed or platform to replace your legs with?
Do you need to start from scratch?
Do you have electric service and access to a mid-size electric motor?

This website may have some useful ideas for your project:
https://507movements.com/toc.html
Perhaps she wants a reciprocating mechanism just to move her legs whilst she sits there. A way to achieve this could be a strap, attaching her legs to the rotating drive of a Kitchen Aid mixer. They're pretty powerful but easy to control.
 
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  • #14
I have found this DIY project, just as a reference:
https://www.hackster.io/news/this-d...omatically-rocks-babies-to-sleep-1b3727d317a1

I believe that using a hard smooth floor as the lower surface on which to roll a frame back and forth, could be more economical, while keeping any dangerous mechanism out of reach of the little one.

Perhaps a simple excentric weight, which a slow motor (like the ones ceiling fans use) makes it rotate horizontally, combined with cross sliding guides (like the ones for desk drawers) could be the simplest idea.
 
  • #15
Loredana03 said:
Hey! I'm not using any rocking cradle just my legs and a pillow.
The OP has not got back to us and I'm really not surprised.
We need some sort of sketch to describe the present arrangement and what needs to be replaced with mechanics. I have a feeling that we have an undefined / undefinable problem here.
 
  • #16
Loredana03 said:
My question is : can I swap these tired legs of mine for an automatic rocking bed that can simulate that type of rocking? (Left<->right) and be a bit faster. Was thinking to add a motor to a sort of curved wooden plate. Need anything else? What's the process? Thanks!
There are still too many unknowns to understand the required motion.

I assume the child lies along the pillow. Do you put the pillow across your legs or parallel with your legs? Where is the child's head?

Do you sit on a chair with knees bent? Are your feet close, or far apart? Are your knees close or far apart? How far?

Or, do you sit on the floor with legs outstretched?

What body movement makes the L/R rocking?
How fast is the rocking now, in cycles per minute?
How fast do you want it to be?
 
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  • #17
Loredana03 said:
My child is 3 so I need something pretty strong and with a fast rocking motion. She always falls asleep like that.
While a fun DIY project never needs a good excuse to at least brainstorm and design, I guess I will be the one here that instead brings one of those annoying parenting advice, allowing everyone else here to continue with the fun without feeling bad for not mentioning it:

You really should phase your daughter out of the need to be rocked to sleep, even if it may cost a few tears and agony in the short run. Most parents eventually gets this challenge of getting their young ones to "fall asleep alone" and while it may possibly start too early on this I am pretty sure 3 years is not in that category, but it may of course cost some extra tears now.
 
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  • #18
Filip Larsen said:
While a fun DIY project never needs a good excuse to at least brainstorm and design, I guess I will be the one here that instead brings one of those annoying parenting advice, allowing everyone else here to continue with the fun without feeling bad for not mentioning it:

You really should phase your daughter out of the need to be rocked to sleep, even if it may cost a few tears and agony in the short run. Most parents eventually gets this challenge of getting their young ones to "fall asleep alone" and while it may possibly start too early on this I am pretty sure 3 years is not in that category, but it may of course cost some extra tears now.
This is not a childcare advice forum. How can you possibly feel qualified to comment on the OP’s situation with her daughter.
Stick to Scientific matters and try to avoid treading where angel fear.
 
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  • #19
sophiecentaur said:
How can you possibly feel qualified to comment on the OP’s situation with her daughter.
I feel qualified in my capacity as a parent, and due to the fact I have never met any other parents who ever regretted using the required effort to learn their kids to "fall asleep alone". But as I mentioned, everyone including the OP is of course free to ignore any such advice and carry on with with the fun work-around.

sophiecentaur said:
Stick to Scientific matters and try to avoid treading where angel fear.
I am sticking to science. My claim would be that it is a far more long term efficient solution for a family if their kids learn to sleep alone. And as an engineer I consider this good practice too. Asking about a clients real need when they order some weird contraption oozing of being a work-around and then recommend them to consider solve the real issue is part of the service. Surprisingly many clients (and people in general, dare I say) seem think in terms of work-arounds (problem patches) instead of zooming out a bit and try solve the real issue.

But lets not beat this issue more. I have said my thing and if the client is still happy about getting the work-around they have set their eyes on then go for it.
 
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  • #20
Okay, this will be a bit quite wrong source, but if I took the motion you wish to achieve right, then the direction... erm... some of the tools, maybe? ... might give some ideas (just don't get the wrong idea, please)... :doh:o0)



Ps.: jokes aside, please also keep in mind that the safety of any childcare equipment requires quite rigorous analysis and careful approach. It may be that despite your effort the safest solution remains your knees - since that means continuous attention and the lack of any potentially force-multiplying machinery.

Maybe you could think about some simple stand or swing instead, just to take over the weight and still do the movement yourself?
 
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  • #21
How about a teeter-totter assembly to rest your feet on? Just to try it out could be as simple as a board across a can of food from the pantry.
 
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  • #22
Filip Larsen said:
I feel qualified in my capacity as a parent,
You are qualified to have an opinion about your own kids. Personally, we had no problem at our kids' bedtimes either but, as grandparents, we did observe different bedtime characteristics for nine grandchildren. We weren't in the driving seat of course but would never have presumed to make comments about the way our grandkids were dealt with. Even less with other families.

The point of my comment was that we don't know the circumstances of the OP or child. One of my grandchildren has definite special needs and I bear that in mind whenever tempted to hold forth on how other people should parent their children. The OP asked a practical question an that should be the limit of any answer from PF

PF always considers health and safety issues but that's different.
 
  • #23
There are plenty of instances on PF where someone posts that they want to achieve X by doing Y. Often times Y seems clunky, overly complicated, expensive, etc. Then the majority of members try to influence the OP to achieve their goals by doing Y a completely different way and it is generally accepted to offer this advice. Why is it different in this case?
 
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  • #24
Hi!
I'm looking for something similar as my child has recently been diagnosed with a rare genetic condition and along with it comes the need to excessively rock, all the time, no matter where she is.
This can be detrimental as her head rubs on the side of her bed to the point she takes skin off her face!

There have been many studies conducted where rocking beds actually aid sleep, and improves respiratory function, particularly in kids and adults that seek that vestibular... need? Rocking beds has also been shown to improve cognitive function in the elderly with memory issues. They even used them in space!

I am trying to source a bed like this because apparently they either ONLY exist in bassinet size (which is pretty much a vibrate to extremely low setting and my child needs a larger size with more oomph) or, they are in adult sized add ons and are still too slow.
But I want a child size one with possible sides.

I joined a forum of mothers with children with the same genetic issue as mine and apparently whoever invents this will be rich!
And goodness gracious me, whoever said rocking your child was dangerous or bad.. Your kid must have the most mundane time at the playground on the swing! Lawdy forbid they ever get in a dreaded hammock!🤣🤣

If your child is seeking rocking at an older age, there is usually a vestibular, disability, or perhaps a sensory reason for it.
A good mother would not attempt to force their child to cease a movement that gave them a stimulatory comfort. We aren't in the stone ages where we think autistic children are actually our babies that have been swapped with fairy's and leave them in the woods!

Educate yourselves before you judge and if someone here is talented enough to be helpful enough to actually create this piece of WORLDLY desired sleep assistive technology... You stand to make a fortune because I know a LOT of people who want one....(myself included).
 
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  • #25
Welcome to PF, @MotherMayhem :smile:

MotherMayhem said:
There have been many studies conducted where rocking beds actually aid sleep, and improves respiratory function, particularly in kids and adults that seek that vestibular... need? Rocking beds has also been shown to improve cognitive function in the elderly with memory issues. They even used them in space!
At PF, we prefer that assertions like this be supported with links to the scientific studies themselves. Can you give us some of the links where you have seen these results published? Thanks.
 
  • #26
No problem at all, Berkeman, my man!
I received my information directly from my child's pediatrician, geneticist and Occupational Therapist but I can absolutely drop you a couple of links for your need for appeasement of course.
But for some of the the studies, you'll find it as easy as popping into Google...
"can being rocked help vestibular problems"
The first thing that pops up, and I'll add a screenshot to verify is as follows....

Rocking devices can also lead to better vestibular functions through the exposure to passive vestibular stimulation and can be moderated via the improvement in sleep quality.

https://www.mdpi.com/2514-183X/7/4/40

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jsr.14153


Where they are published will obviously be in the link. 🤣🤣
 

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  • #27
berkeman said:
Welcome to PF, @MotherMayhem :smile:


At PF, we prefer that assertions like this be supported with links to the scientific studies themselves. Can you give us some of the links where you have seen these results published? Thanks.

I don't know if this also helps with the "verification process" or validation of the original poster of the threads need for one in the process, but given my child's particular rocking needs and diagnosis, her OT has already been cleared to receive funding to source this and 5 grand has been allocated for, (as I have mentioned before, what they call this rocking child's bed, "Assistive Technology".)

I'm not just a Googlespert, I have a team of providers and medical specialists that all have explained what is going on for me to know what it is and THEN express that I should further research to have a better understanding of my child's needs, particularly looking forward.

In don't this I have developed a deeper understanding and empathise with both parents of and sympathise people who experience issues, even small, that can affect or interupt or that they simply can't control.
Look up rhymic movement disorder, stims, vestibular stimuli, vestibular balance disorder, nocturnal vestibular stimulation, the sensory benefits of rocking and a whole lot of rare and common diagnosis that share this phenotype in common.

The list is extensive of their behavior patterns but the product is not.

There are already vestibular rocking chairs in classrooms (I have 1), things called Bilibos, which are for sitting and rocking (you bet I have it), I have an inside swing, a sensory pod that swings, I rock her myself and they all work.
When she is rocked, it is the ONLY time she is calm and remains stationary.

But the moment she lays down in bed no matter how long I rock her for on any of the equipment... It begins.

The world needs a child's bed.

Once upon a time a lady invented a machine that squeezed her in a farm and it made the world work out that some Autistic people needed weight... from there we now have weighted products like blankets.

With all this information, when are we going to advance to this next chapter and get the bed? It needs to be as common as the blankets.
 
  • #28
in order for us engineer types to start brainstorming useful solutions, it is necessary define "rocking" in terms that engineers understand:

Do you want a pivot point down low, such as in a rocking chair?
Do you want a pivot point up high, such as in a hammock?
Or is back and forth, such as a bed on wheels good enough?
Or a pivot point down the middle of the child, where the child rolls back and forth without sideways motion?

How far - minimum to maximum centimeters peak to peak, or degrees if rolling?
How fast - slowest to fastest rocks per minute?

Maybe you could provide a video clip showing the best motion. Add somebody holding a ruler to show the range of motion.
 
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  • #29
MotherMayhem said:
Once upon a time a lady invented a machine that squeezed her in a farm and it made the world work out that some Autistic people needed weight... from there we now have weighted products like blankets.
Temple Grandin publicised the observation that, those on the autistic spectrum seem to prefer heavier loaded blankets, but for contact, not for thermal reasons.

The problem with designing a rocking bed is closing the geographical distance between a creative designer and a test subject. This forum is not geared for that level of communication. I guess, "goodness gracious me", judging by language, MotherMayhem is antipodean to Baluncore. That is a problem for collaboration.
Is there anyone at the end of the Earth, on the Island of Tasmania, who needs, and could evaluate, a rocking bed?
 
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  • #30
Baluncore said:
Temple Grandin publicised the observation that, those on the autistic spectrum seem to prefer heavier loaded blankets, but for contact, not for thermal reasons.

The problem with designing a rocking bed is closing the geographical distance between a creative designer and a test subject. This forum is not geared for that level of communication. I guess, "goodness gracious me", judging by language, MotherMayhem is antipodean to Baluncore. That is a problem for collaboration.
Is there anyone at the end of the Earth, on the Island of Tasmania, who needs, and could evaluate, a rocking bed?
Get out of my head!

But in all seriousness, I'd pay postage from Tasmania if I could get what I need.

And thank you for making my point about the blankets, you knew where I was going with it, did your research and as the morning wore on and I became less eloquent, Baluncore was here to have my back!

Now, for your point. Are you offering services or simply here to gain something, perhaps an assertion of some sort of dominance by attempting rather terribly to "size me up", or something by this evaluation of my use of chosen expression at roughly 5am while posting with self inflicted sleep deprivation? 🤣

Because you know, I also like to spice things up by chucking in a "good golly" or "holey tamale!", and if I'm feeling REALLY spicey, you'll get a "fuc-caia bread" or "dang-ake mushroom!", from me.

Stick around, this jerk is unpredictable.

If you are here to offer services, that would be epic. However, if you aren't as useful as I hoped... You know what, I still like your gumption, can we be friends?
 
  • #31
jrmichler said:
in order for us engineer types to start brainstorming useful solutions, it is necessary define "rocking" in terms that engineers understand:

Do you want a pivot point down low, such as in a rocking chair?
Do you want a pivot point up high, such as in a hammock?
Or is back and forth, such as a bed on wheels good enough?
Or a pivot point down the middle of the child, where the child rolls back and forth without sideways motion?

How far - minimum to maximum centimeters peak to peak, or degrees if rolling?
How fast - slowest to fastest rocks per minute?

Maybe you could provide a video clip showing the best motion. Add somebody holding a ruler to show the range of motion.
Before I get into it and start answering your questions, are you a mechanical engineer that could construct such an item?

The wording engineer "types" had me pausing.
 
  • #32
Lnewqban said:
I have found this DIY project, just as a reference:
https://www.hackster.io/news/this-d...omatically-rocks-babies-to-sleep-1b3727d317a1

I believe that using a hard smooth floor as the lower surface on which to roll a frame back and forth, could be more economical, while keeping any dangerous mechanism out of reach of the little one.

Perhaps a simple excentric weight, which a slow motor (like the ones ceiling fans use) makes it rotate horizontally, combined with cross sliding guides (like the ones for desk drawers) could be the simplest idea.
Can you make something like this?
 
  • #34
MotherMayhem said:
Before I get into it and start answering your questions, are you a mechanical engineer that could construct such an item?
I have no doubt that most who contributes here can. The issue is, that it's not 'we' who has to construct the item, but somebody who we do not know: according to the original post everything we cook up here has to be both low level enough to be done DIY without special parts and with limited supervision only and still child-safe.
 
  • #35
Rive said:
I have no doubt that most who contributes here can. The issue is, that it's not 'we' who has to construct the item, but somebody who we do not know: according to the original post everything we cook up here has to be both low level enough to be done DIY without special parts and with limited supervision only and still child-safe.
Obviously as the seeker, not the engineer myself, I will admit complete and total ignorance and be willing to ask the questions.
Why does it need to be done without special parts and not the required parts?
What and whoo do you mean by limited supervision and
Would you consider this design child safe?
 

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