Since I'm getting married soon my attention has been attracted towards articles about children (even though we're not planning on having any for a while). Here's some research that claims that the best way to quiet a crying infant is to recreate the conditions from inside the womb -- and since 6-week-olds apparently cry an average of 3.5 hours each day, this could come in handy.

The Five S’s

But now a new system that involves the 5 S’s -- swaddling, side/stomach holding, shushing, swinging, and sucking -- can calm squalling infants, he says. This, says Karp, activates the baby’s calming reflex during the first three to four months of life by mimicking the experiences in the uterus.

Swaddling. Wrap your baby tightly in a receiving blanket to duplicate the feelings of warmth and protection, and the "tight fit," in the womb. Swaddling also stops your baby's uncontrolled arm and leg flailing that can contribute to hysterical wailing. Karp says your baby will be calmer if she's swaddled 12-20 hours a day in the beginning.

"Twelve hours may seem like a lot from our point of view, but to the newborn, it's already a 50 percent cutback on the 24-hour-a-day 'snuggling' in the uterus," he explains.

Side/stomach soothing. Lay your baby on her side or stomach, which Karp believes shuts down the baby's "Moro reflex," or a sensation of falling, and thus helps keep her calm. (He adds, however, that a baby should never be put to sleep on her stomach, since this may increase the risk of SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome).

“Shhhing” sounds. There is a whooshing noise within the womb, caused by blood flowing through the mother's arteries. You can recreate this sound with a "white noise" machine, a tape or CD with these "white noise" sounds, a dishwasher, a car ride, or a hair dryer.

Swinging. Rhythmic movements in an infant swing, hammock, moving automobile, or baby carrier can keep your baby content. Sucking. Occupy your baby with a pacifier, infant bottle, or a mother's nipple (which Karp describes as "the all-time, No. 1 sucking toy in the world.")

I have a feeling this information will come in handy in a few years. Have any of you parents tried these methods with success?



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