Gidget posted on September 29, 2008 07:20

When our little Chiquita was little, we found Dr. Harvey Karp's book/video, The Happiest Baby on the Block, to be an invaluable resource. We watched the video, which focuses primarily on the 5 S's and how to use them to calm a fussy baby. His theory is that these 5 steps, when done in the proper order are effective in "turning on" a calming reflex in the baby. I've included the main points from each "S" chapter as listed on his website {along with my own comments}.

(Here's our little one, as her uncle practices the S's)

Dr. Karp's 5 S's

 1.  SwaddlingA feeling of pure "wrap"ture

  • Swaddling is the cornerstone of calming. It gives nurturing touch, stops flailing, and focuses your baby's attention
  • Swaddling by itself may not halt crying, rather it prepares babies for the other S's which do switch off crying
  • The two reasons our ancestors stopped swaddling babies centuries ago
  • Six unnecessary concerns parents have about swaddling
  • The most perfect of all swaddles - the "DUDU" wrap {this is really the BEST swaddle method!}
2.  Side (or, Stomach)… Your baby's "feel-good" position 
  • How the side and stomach positions can calm your baby by switching his calming reflex on and his falling reflex (Moro) off
  • Important information about SIDS and your baby's sleeping position
  • The "reverse breast feeding" hold and other excellent ways to cuddle your baby and soothe his crying
3.  Shhhh…Your baby's favorite soothing sound
  • Shhh triggers your baby's calming reflex
  • The wooshing that your baby heard in your uterus was as loud as a vacuum {and the vacuum itself works great!}
  • You must shhh loudly for it to soothe your crying baby
  • Ten machines that make soothing white noise
4.  Swinging…Moving in rhythm with your baby's needs
  • Vigorous jiggly movement can switch on your baby's calming reflex {your own knees work great!}
  • Three keys to being successful with swinging motion
  • Lullabies - What swinging sounds like when it's put to music
  • The "Windshield Wiper" - A great way to calm your fussy baby when you're tired
  • Eight tricks for turning a swing into your baby's best friend
5.  Sucking…The "icing on the cake"
  • Sucking calms babies by satisfying their hunger and by turning on their calming reflex
  • Four ways to help your baby succeed with pacifiers
  • How to side-stepping six common pacifier problems
  • {I was initially againstthe paci but it turned out to be our best friend!}

So if you have a fussy one, or are getting ready to welcome a little one, you can get prepared and educated by checking out Dr. Karp's book, DVD, or maybe even take a class on his methods!

And let us know if the 5 S's worked for you!


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