The Happiest Baby on the Block

Check out this author…..  He is a board certified pediatrician who has developed many items to aid in sleep training your baby.    JUDY

The Happiest Baby on the Block

Harvey Karp MD, board certified pediatritian

(Helpful comments added by Judy Eastman)

The Five S’s of Newborn Care


The 1st S: Swaddle

Swaddling recreates the snug packaging inside the womb and is the cornerstone of calming. It decreases startling and increases sleep. And, wrapped babies respond faster to the other 4 S’s and stay soothed longer because their arms can’t wriggle around. To swaddle correctly,wrap arms snug—straight at the side—but let the hips be loose and flexed. Use a large square blanket, but don’t overheat, cover your baby’s head or allow unraveling. Note: Babies shouldn’t be swaddled all day, just during fussing and sleep.

I couldn’t agree more, babies feel secure and safe when swaddled.  The beautiful gauze and bamboo blankets available now are lovely, but useless when it comes to swaddling.  They do not provide enough friction to stay in place.  Use flannel receiving blankets for the best results.  There are also swaddles for purchase.  I prefer those with Velcro.  Baby will stay snuggled in until the next diaper change.

The 2nd S: Side or Stomach Position

The back is the only safe position for sleeping, but it’s the worst position for calming fussiness. This S can be activated by holding a baby on her side, on her stomach or over your shoulder. You’ll see your baby mellow in no time.

The 3rd S: Shush

Contrary to myth, babies don’t need total silence to sleep. In the womb, the sound of the blood flow is a shush louder than a vacuum cleaner! But, not all white noise is created equal. Hissy fans and ocean sounds often fail because they lack the womb’s rumbly quality. The best way to imitate these magic sounds is white noise. Happiest Baby’s CD / Mp3 has6 specially engineered sounds to calm crying and boost sleep.

I prefer soft classical music to the irritating white noise machines.  It is not only calming but educational.  Studies consistently show students studying or test taking with classical music in the background test higher.  Starting to educate baby now can only be a plus.

The 4th S: Swing

Life in the womb is very jiggly. (Imagine your baby bopping around inside your belly when you jaunt down the stairs!) While slow rocking is fine for keeping quiet babies calm, you need to use fast, tiny motions to soothe a crying infant mid-squawk. My patients call this movement the Jell-O head jiggle.” To do it, always support the head/neck, keep your motions small; and move no more than 1 inch back and forth. I really advise watching the DVD to make sure you get it right. (For the safety of your infant, never, ever shake your baby in anger or frustration.)

Motion is the time tested way to calm babies.  Swings, rides in the car, holding, rocking of the bassinet, a swinging cradle, walking with baby in a carrier all provide this care.  Be creative.  Also, this is a wonderful way for Daddy to participate in baby care.

The 5th S: Suck

Sucking is “the icing on the cake” of calming. Many fussy babies relax into a deep tranquility when they suck. Many babies calm easier with a pacifier.

Baby will take a pacifier if trained to do so.  It is a learning process.  In the beginning pacifiers pop out, do not give up!  At 2:00 AM you will be very grateful.  Any pacifier will do.  I prefer the newborn pacifiers by MEM.  They are light weight and easy to hold on to.

The 5 S’s Take PRACTICE to Perfect

The 5 S’s technique only works when done exactly right. The calming reflex is just like the knee reflex: Hit one inch too high or low, and you’ll get no response, but hit the knee exactly right and, presto! If your little one doesn’t soothe with the S’s, watch the Happiest Baby DVD / Streaming Video again to get it down pat. Or, check with your doctor to make sure illness isn’t preventing calming.

You can do it.  Having a doula to support and help will make it so much easier.  DO NOT GIVE UP!!!

How Do the 5 S’s Relate to Another Favorite S – Sleep?

The keys to good sleep are swaddling and white noise. In another “Aha!” moment, I realized technology could assist parents with their 4th-trimester duties. So Happiest Baby invented SNOO, an innovative baby bed based on the 5 S’s that helps calm babies and ease them into sleep. Parents especially love when it quickly calms babies for those 2 a.m. wakings!