If you are one of these sleep-deprived parents who obviously need help in soothing your baby, you will be glad to know that there are techniques that can help you. Follow these 5 “S” steps to stop your baby from crying without losing your sanity.
The 5 “S” steps
World-renowned pediatrician and book author, Harvey Karp, stated that the most effective way of calming down or lulling a crying baby to sleep is to mimic the movements, sounds and sounds of a mother’s womb.
Babies spend such a long time in the womb that they are accustomed to the cramped space and assorted sounds of their mom’s body. According to Dr. Karp, this is the reason why babies are easily agitated when all alone in an overly quiet room with their arms and legs loose and flailing.
Thankfully, recreating the scenarios in the mother’s comfortable and snug womb is possible with Dr. Karp’s 5 “S” steps, or swaddling, stomach or side position, shush, swing and suck. These steps must be done consecutively so you can stop your baby from crying effortlessly.
This “S” step involves wrapping your baby in a thin blanket with the arms inside and positioned at the sides. It is important to note that swaddling should be done accurately and only during sleeping times for it to be effective. Proper swaddling allows leg movement but restricts arm movement to eliminate unnecessary flailing. Swaddled babies should always be laid on their backs and tightly wrapped in the blanket. Loose swaddling should always be avoided as the blanket poses choking risks.
2. Stomach or side position
Once the baby is swaddled properly, you should position your baby on his tummy or side. Stop your baby from crying by gently stroking or patting his back or sides. Never leave your baby on a side or stomach-down position when asleep to prevent choking or SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
If baby is still awake and crying after “S” steps 1 and 2, it is time to shush your baby. Contrary to what other parents believe, total silence isn’t required when soothing a child. To stop your baby from crying, you should try shushing. Shush loudly when your baby is crying but lower your tone when you notice your baby calming down. Do this by putting your mouth about 4 to 5 inches away from your baby’s ear and shush until asleep.
Gentle rocking motions always help to stop your baby from crying most especially when paired with the other “S” steps already described. To do this, rock your baby back and forth or side to side until relaxed or asleep.
To stop your baby from crying, allow sucking on a pacifier or the thumb. The sucking motion acts as a calming reflex for your child and could also encourage sleep.