Monday, July 12, 2010

Calming Your Baby

Would've good if I found out about this earlier. After days of having the baby crying on and off, and not knowing how to pacify him, we turned to Google/Wikipedia/YouTube, and found out about the 5S's.

If your baby is always unsettled or crying after a feed, he probably has colic. Now, noboby knows what's the cause of colic, but most people think it's due to stomach gases. Regardless, Dr. Harvey Karp, author of the best-selling The Happiest Baby on the Block, tells us that all babies have a calming reflex. If we know how to trigger this calming reflex, it'll calm the baby immediately. And so I give you the 5S's:

  • swaddling - Swaddle the baby tightly to recreate the sensation of being in the womb.
  • side or stomach postion - Hold the baby on his side or face down.
  • shushing - Constant shush sound or other sources of white noise, like hair dryers or vacuum cleaners
  • swinging - A little bit of jiggling of the baby from side to side
  • sucking - Breastfeeding or the use of pacifiers




As soon as I learned these techniques, I applied them immediately to Aidan. From my experience, shushing works best, but don't overdo it. This is not some mild, gentle shushing sound. From the video, it's a strong, constant in-your-ear shushing. Very effective though. Not sure whether it's the calming reflex at work, or the shush sound is so overpowering that it paralyzes the baby into inactivity.

Sucking also works, but be careful with pacifiers. I read somewhere that it might cause ear infection. At the very least, too much sucking prevents your baby from having a deep sleep and makes them hungrier faster. Swinging is also quite effective. Again, take care that you don't jiggle baby's brain into mush. Swaddling, my baby doesn't like it. It prevents him from moving his arms around (obviously), which makes him crankier. YMMV.

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