Los Angeles/Berlin (ots)
Parents are often told that fatigue is inevitable when giving birth to a newborn. However, lack of sleep puts a huge strain on families and can lead to problems such as postpartum depression, breastfeeding problems, careless accidents and marital strife.
The famous American pediatrician Dr. After decades of practical experience in pediatrics, Harvey Karp has developed a successful method for quickly calming crying babies. This method, which he calls 5S, is based on his theory that babies have a calming reflex, a kind of on switch for sleep and an off switch for crying. On the other hand, he assumes that newborns long after birth, the so-called “fourth trimester”, have an environment similar to the womb. Since the publication of his parenting guide The Happiest Baby in the World in 2001, parents around the world have found relief and support from his effective 5S approach.
Dr. Karpas reveals how parents can use the 5 S’s to soothe their baby.
Basics of the 5S method for soothing babies
- 1st S: Protective wrapping
Swaddling mimics the comfortable and safe feeling of being in the womb, making it a cornerstone of soothing babies. In addition, swaddled babies respond more quickly to the other four S’s and stay calm longer because their arms cannot squirm (Moore’s reflex). For proper swaddling, parents wrap the baby’s arms close to the sides, but leave the waist loose and flexible. Babies should also not be swaddled all day, but only when they are restlessly crying or sleeping. Swaddling should be stopped as soon as the baby can roll over.
- 2nd S: Lateral or prone position
Lying down is the safest position to sleep in to prevent sudden infant death syndrome. Unfortunately, it is not very suitable for soothing crying babies. Parents can use the side or front position, placing the baby on the side, stomach or over the shoulder. The position on the side or lying down is only suitable for calming down, never for sleeping.
Contrary to popular belief, babies do not need complete silence to sleep. Rather, babies crave white noise. In the womb, blood rushes louder than a vacuum cleaner and lasts 24 hours a day. However, not every sound has the same effect. Loud fans and ocean sounds often don’t work because they lack the “fast” sound quality of the womb. The best sound to soothe a crying baby is muffled, purring white noise.
Life in the womb is very active! While slow rocking is great for calming quiet babies, quick, small movements are needed to soothe a crying baby. Parents should always support the child’s head and neck, and movements should be as small as possible: The movement should not be more than two and a half centimeters.
Many restless babies calm down and relax by sucking. This is because breastfeeding lowers the baby’s heart rate, blood pressure and reduces stress levels. Many babies calm down much more easily with a pacifier, making it a very useful tool for new parents.
Practice makes perfect!
The 5 S’s work best when done right. The relaxation reflex is like the knee reflex: if you hit the spot, bingo! Parents should continue to experiment with the 5S to find the perfect combination that individually soothes the baby.
For five years Dr. Karps will develop a smart baby cradle based on the 5S method to support new parents. in 2016 he introduced the SNOO Smart Sleeper, the world’s safest baby bed and the first baby cradle that responds to baby’s movements and sounds. SNOO uses white noise, rocking and swaddling to improve your child’s sleep. The bed will automatically respond with white noise and movements when the baby is restless to calm them down.
About Dr. Harvey Karpas
Dr. Harvey Karp is a well-known US pediatrician, a member of the American Academy of…