Dealing with a crying baby is part of being a parent. However, it can be challenging to cope when your baby doesn’t stop crying.
Nonetheless, how we view crying needs to change; in the end, it’s the only way this tiny human can communicate their needs with us. For the most part, they are probably hungry, tired, cold, or in pain; other times, they may need to be changed, feel lonely, or there could be something happening that they don’t know what to do about. No matter which bracket the crying falls under, it’s important that they alert us to their needs.
This doesn’t take away from the fact that a crying baby can be very stressful, both for them and us. When we are exhausted, we may feel like shedding a few tears may be the only option for us, too. It’s normal for your anxiety and frustration to heighten when you can’t calm a fussy baby. You will likely feel entirely out of control with nowhere to turn.
However, these 5 S’s might be just what you’ve been searching for when trying to soothe your baby. For years, parents across the globe have been looking for solutions that recreate a womb-like setup so that a baby can calm – and with these 5 S’s, we have come pretty close.
So, what are the 5 S’s?
- Side (Stomach Position).
Ready to know more? Let’s go.
Swaddling is so important in helping a baby feel safe. It’s like tucking them into a snug little package that feels like they’re back in the cozy setting of a womb. When they are wrapped up like this, they are much quicker to respond to the other 4 S’s we will work through after this stage.
How can you swaddle a baby?
Wrap their arms snuggly into a blanket, keeping them down by their sides if possible. Keep their hips loose and their legs a little free. That way, they don’t feel restricted eventhough their hands are neatly tucked away, preventing any issues.
When swaddling them, use a big blanket that covers them easily. However, choose one that won’t allow them to overheat. If possible, get a wrap with some velcro on it, so their head doesn’t sink below the covers when you eventually lay them down.
Just note you should not swaddle a baby all the time. Only swaddle them when you need to soothe or relax them.
While sleeping, a baby should only be on their back. However, being on their back can irritate them when they feel fussy. If this is the case, it’s safe to hold your baby on their side while in your arms. This will help them to relax, feel secure and (hopefully) drift off to sleep.
By holding your baby on their side before laying them down to rest, you could be saving yourself hours of crying and fussing. There’s just something about the side position in your hands that will help them to mellow out, unlike anything else.
No, this doesn’t mean you need to make shushing noises in their ears until they calm down. It’s just a reminder that some noise is preferable when soothing a baby.
When they were in the womb, it was much noisier than you’d believe. With all that blood rushing around, it can get pretty loud on the inside, and yet, they managed to have a pretty great time in there for nine months. White or pink noise represents the sounds they heard in the womb, so try turning some on as you soothe and hold them on their side. Recreating these sounds can be really helpful.
These noises are also great for distracting them away from other noises or disturbances that could be happening outside, which will allow for a more peaceful (and longer) night’s sleep.
When your baby was in the womb, they were jumping around the entire time. Anytime you moved, they were suddenly jolted in every other direction. That’s why slowly rocking them can help recreate this secure feeling for them.
Depending on your baby, they may enjoy long slow swings or smaller, more rapid ones. Take notice of how they react – and adjust accordingly.
When you’re swinging your child, make sure you support their entire body – especially their head.
Please note: swinging your baby is not shaking. You should never shake your baby.
While you shouldn’t use a pacifier from a very early age, you can allow a baby to suck on your finger. This sucking sensation can help them to relax. You can introduce a pacifier to replace your finger as they get a little older. This will significantly help when they are teething.
Do they really work?
Yes, when you do them right. You can’t rush the S’s – if you are angry or frustrated, your baby will pick up on that and will likely get fussier with it. Your energy needs to match what you’re doing. That’s how you can make sure it will work.
Will the 5 S’s help my baby sleep?
Swaddling, white noise, and the other steps that soothe your baby will undoubtedly help to relax them for a good night’s sleep. If possible, make the 5 S’s a regular part of your bedtime routine. Once they get into the habit of it, they won’t want anything else to help them fall asleep.
Recreating a womb environment is really helpful for your baby to sleep. After all, that was the safest environment they’ve experienced to date.