Sunday, May 20, 2012

The 5 S's Every Babymama Should Know

I was a psycho first-time mom.  And I had a very fussy, colicky baby girl.  I tried everything I knew to appease her, but nothing worked like "The Five S's" from Dr. Harvey Karp's book Happiest Baby On The Block.  If you have an infant, then you NEED these mommy weapons in your arsenal:

1.  Swaddling - infants don't have enough control to manage their flailing limbs, and when they are flailing, they are afraid.  Keep baby swaddled when it's time to sleep and time to be calm.  Need a tutorial?  Click here.

2.  Side/stomach position - babies don't like being on their backs!  A baby will feel much more secure when you position him on his side or stomach.  Although I personally was fine with my babies sleeping on their tummies (once they could move their heads around pretty well), you don't have to do that if it makes you feel uncomfortable.  The best time to use the side/stomach position as a soothing element is when baby is in your arms.  The book actually goes into great detail and was such a help to me.

3.  Shushing - your sweet baby spent a VERY long time inside your womb where it was NOISY!  Your baby was comforted by the sounds of mommy all around her - and now, those same sounds will still soothe her.  What a baby heard in your womb is like static-y white noise (from blood rushing, organs functioning, amniotic fluid sloshing her around).  So, making a shhhhhh sound with your mouth is actually a soothing sound to baby's ears.

4.  Swinging - your infant was accustomed to the swaying motion of your body for 40(ish) weeks, so being still is very disturbing to him.  Swinging him in your arms will feel familiar and soothing to him.

5.  Sucking - this is such an intrinsic thing - and it helps trigger the calming reflex.  Why do you think pacifiers were invented?!  Don't be afraid to let your baby suck on a paci - if you skip the paci, they will just want to suck on YOU all the time.  Some babies find their thumbs or other fingers to suck on very early, while others never do.  You can decide how best to train your own child, but just know that sucking is a NEED for infants.

Now....when you start combining some of these S' start to enter the realm of Baby Whisperer.  I remember the first time I was able to calm my baby girl out of a full-blown screamfest using several of the S's at the same time.  I felt like I had just climbed Mt. Everest!  Next time your baby is stuck in fuss-mode, whip out two or three of these miraculous S's and see what happens!