Every parent wants to be able to wave a magical wand to put a stop to their baby’s fussy periods. When a baby is unsettled it can be very overwhelming and triggering for exhausted new families.
Let us introduce you to the 5S Approach
Before diving into what the 5S’ are, it is important you know about Dr. Harvey Karp and the term he coined “the fourth trimester”. Doctor Karp believes that babies are born too soon and that we should treat the first 3 months after they are born as an adjustment period into the world. Thus all his strategies he shares fall back onto that belief.
So how do we calm a baby during the fouth trimester? By replicating what life was like inside the womb of course! Having our little one feeling snug, is similar to the tightness of the uterus. Hearing the same constant noises of inside the body, the swooshing of blood vessels sound almost identical to shushing. The movement of the pregnant parent primes your baby to want swaying, swinging, and other movements that are familiar to them.
So here are the 5 S’s which will not only help calm your baby but calm you as well.
Swaddling recreates the way the baby felt in the womb, warm and snug. Swaddling also helps to increase sleep and keeps baby calmer longer because they can’t move their arms around.
We have a quick video on swaddling. Check it out here.
2. Side or Stomach Position
As we know the safest sleep position for baby is on their back. While you are calming a fussy baby you can hold your baby on their side, on their stomach or over your shoulder. Think of resting on your back and having baby skin to skin laying on your chest. Also, the “football” hold imitates the position they had in the womb and turns off the startle reflex. You may have to reposition a few times to see what works best for your baby that day.
The shhuuussshhhh is actually a mimic of the blood flow and muffled noises your baby hears while in the womb. Contrary to what you may think, babies respond better to sound while trying to sleep instead of silence. This is where white noise comes in. Many families love the Baby Shusher, a portable shushing machine. The company also has a convenient phone app.
Baby loves movement. Think of all the moving their are doing in the womb. When you are pregnant you are in motion for most of the day, and baby feels this. Slow rocking can help to keep baby calm but also fast, tiny motions may be more effective. Always support baby’s head/ neck and keep your movements small. Another use for your “birth ball” can be to assist in a light bouncing
The sucking reflex works wonders on calming baby. Using a pacifier or even your breast can instantly calm baby. A baby can not cry and suck at the same time!
So to recap, keep the check list of the 5 S’s in your mind when your baby is cranky. These can help give you the tricks you need to keep yourself calm and soothe your little one. Swaddle, Side, Shush, Swing and Suck. Remember that you are still healing and baby is getting use to life on the outside. You are both learning together and this will take time. You are strong and capable of anything!