There are rhythms your baby experiences inside the womb that trigger a reflex that keeps them relaxed.
It's a Calming Reflex. I use many of these during a Newborn Session and they work like magic!
Below are 5 S's for calming your little one. Before I move into them, do make sure baby isn't hungry or has a full diaper!
If a full tummy and a dry diaper are in check, try these next 5 methods to calm a fussy babe.
The 1st S: Swaddle
Swaddling recreates the snug feeling inside the womb and is the cornerstone of calming. It decreases startle reflex 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, thin, 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.
The 2nd S: Side or Stomach Position
The back is the 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. And sometimes, the slight pressure on the stomach can help relieve any trapped air or gas in babies stomach or digestive system.
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.
My favorite app for doing this? Relax Melodies for iOS. ( I believe Android has this one too). LIFE. SAVER. and SLEEP GIVER!
The 4th S: Swing
Life in the womb is very jiggly. (Imagine your baby bopping around inside your belly when you step 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-scream. To do it, ALWAYS support the head/neck, keep your motions small; and move no more than 1 inch back and forth. (For the safety of your infant, never, ever shake your baby in anger or frustration.)
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 calm easier with a pacifier.
The 5 S’s Take PRACTICE!
Don't give up if baby won't soothe after trying these for the first or second time. Keep trying! It might take a few times to find the niche that works for your little one and you. For me, it was the tight swaddle, standing in our bathroom with the light OFF and the vent fan ON, while I rocked my body from side to side with baby upright on my shoulder. After about 2 minutes, she'd be out and in a deep sleep. Every. single. time. BUT it took about a week to figure that out.