Soothing a Crying Baby


[et_pb_section admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] It's no secret that babies cry so it is crucial for each parent to know some of the secrets to help restore their baby to a calm state of being. Today's blog will cover Dr. Harvey Karp's “The 5 S's” method of soothing a crying baby which involves techniques that revolve around mimicking the womb. “The 5 S's” method is a great set of tools for parents to know and can make a world of difference when dealing with a fussy baby. It is very important to note that this blog is in no way a substitute or replacement for watching the “Happiest Baby” video or reading “Happiest Baby on the Block.”


The use of white noise is a great technique for soothing a crying baby because it imitates the whooshing sound of mom's blood flow that baby has grown accustom to in the womb. The biggest mistakes that people make with white noise are using the wrong kinds of sounds and not playing them loudly enough. The womb environment is quite loud so if you are trying to calm a baby, the noise should be at least as loud as their cries. If, on the other hand, you are trying to help your baby sleep, the volume of running water should be effective.


Properly swaddling your baby helps to increase sleep by decreasing startling and mimics the restrictive surroundings of the womb. As a bonus, babies tend to respond better to the other 4 S's when they are swaddled. When swaddling your baby, use a large square blanket or swaddle and wrap your baby snugly with their arms straight at their sides and the blanket or swaddle at but never above the shoulders. Make sure the that the hips and legs are able to move freely but that the arms are being held in place by the swaddle.


Sucking is a natural reflex for babies and, according to Dr. Karp, is “the icing on the cake” when it comes to soothing a crying baby. The use of a pacifier can be quite useful especially when used with one of the other 4 S's. When using this S, make sure that the object your baby is sucking on is appropriate for them and does not present a choking hazard.


When baby was in the womb, there was a lot of motion that they experienced with every step and movement that mom made. Naturally the use of gentle swinging or the specific swinging method taught by Dr. Karp provides the same sort of movements to help in soothing a crying baby. It is important to note that you should never shake a baby in anger and always be gentle when using swinging methods, being sure to support baby's head and neck. If you have doubts about how to properly swing your baby, be sure to watch the “Happiest Baby” video before attempting this S.

Side/Stomach Position

While babies should only be allowed to sleep on their back for safety reasons, it is actually the worst possible position for soothing a crying baby. Holding baby on their side, on their stomach, or over your shoulder is a great way to help calm them when they are fussy. For an added bonus to this technique use skin to skin contact as a means of bonding with your baby while you are soothing them.