As much as we all love our sweet squishy little babies, there are times as parents when we tend to get tired, overwhelmed and simply frustrated. It’s worse for first time parents because we don’t know exactly what our tiny newborns need. The fact is that all babies cry—and that’s a good thing. How else would we know if our helpless infants were cold, hungry, lonely or in pain? But…
Typically, babies get increasingly irritable around the evening and can continue for hours. No wonder, parents get concerned, frustrated and very, very tired. We will often listen to suggestions from other parents, our own parents or from different forums for new parents on the net. My advice is… trust your own instincts, which has always worked for me. But I understand it takes time to trust yourself so that is when the 5 S’s come in handy! Dr. Harvey Karp developed this technique and talks all about it in his book The Happiest Baby On The Block.
The 5 S’s are all equally important and something each new parent should consider first when it comes to soothing their children (as I do when handling newborns).
The First S: Swaddling
A warm, wrapped up baby is the first step to a calming method. Swaddling seems to help decrease fussing and increase sleep for a newborn even though there are mixed opinions about it (it seems to have worked for me, my babies and my clients’ babies).
The Second S: Side Lying
This method is not for a sleeping baby, but for a baby that just needs to settle down. Holding a baby on its side, stomach or even over your shoulder can help calm the baby to slowly relax.
The Third S: Shushing
Want to increase your babies sleep? Try white noise. It is the best way to reenact what the baby might have heard in the womb. It works almost every time, and it’s what I use in my studio. Try such apps as “white noise” or “white noise baby” from the iPhone App Store or Ewan, the Dream Sheep. Once I also had a baby falling asleep listening to traffic noise played on Youtube 🙂
The Fourth S: Swinging
The swing method is great to create small movements to soothe the baby like bouncing up and down or moving side to side. Although, remember to keep your movements small and support the baby while rocking.
The Fifth S: Sucking
Try a dummy! Sucking is a great way for a baby to relax which is why I often ask parents to bring a dummy for their baby. Sucking helps the baby focus and stay calm. Newborns don’t always like to take their dummy at first but they quickly get used to it.
All of the 5 S’s help to increase babies’ relaxation while simultaneously increasing their sleep.
As sleep is very important for a baby, keep in mind the 5 S’s when trying to soothe your baby back into a deep sleep, especially for those late night wake up calls.
What are your thoughts on these techniques? I’d love to hear them – share in the comments!
LIVERPOOL MATERNITY, NEWBORN & BABY PHOTOGRAPHER | RENATA KATE PHOTOGRAPHY
Thinking about booking your baby photography session? It’s never too early or too late to get in touch! Sessions take place within 5-14 days after baby’s birth and my calendar is filling up. So it is suggested that you book your photographer at the beginning of your second trimester to guarantee room on the calendar around your estimated due date.