Using The 5 S's To Soothe Your Baby: Tips & Tricks

Using The 5 S's To Soothe Your Baby: Tips & Tricks

You feel like you know all of the tricks in the book when it comes to soothing your fussy baby. Your baby is still getting used to the world around them, and there are times when they may feel overwhelmed by their new environment. 

Since our babies cannot speak quite yet, they use the only communication method they have right now -- their cries. 

A non-stop fussy baby can also be frustrating for even the most patient parents. Most parents are already dealing with some type of sleep deprivation, and adding a fussy baby to the mix can be very stressful when you have trouble calming them down. 

Bedtime Routine

One of the most effective ways to keep your baby calm and happy is by incorporating a consistent bedtime routine. A successful routine helps your little one fall asleep faster and for longer. 

Bedtime routines are best when they are simple and predictable, as your baby will associate this routine with going to sleep. You can start bedtime with a warm bath and clean pajamas. Next, a bedtime story while snuggling seals the deal of a successful routine. 

A hug and a kiss will help send your little one off to dreamland. 

However, even with our most routine actions, sometimes our babies will just be fussy and need some extra TLC. If you are experiencing a challenging time soothing your fussy baby, using the 5 S’s approach can help get your baby feeling a little better and less fussy. That means relief for both you and your baby!

Understanding the 5 S’s Technique

Dr. Harvey Karp developed the 5 S’s technique, and it is based on sounds and motions that your baby experienced in the womb. 

Dr. Karp explains in more detail that babies remember and enjoy these sensations as they develop within the soft, warm, and squishiness of mom’s womb. They reflect the sound of their mother’s blood flow as it circulated around their body and the feeling of movement as she went about her day. 

When your baby is not feeling like a happy camper, and nothing is helping to soothe them, utilizing the 5 S’s technique can help mimic the sounds they were exposed to in their earliest days. They may help your baby feel safe, secure and help you feel some relief. 

Let’s take a look at each of the S’s and see how they can be utilized to help our babies feel calm.

Swaddling

In the womb, your baby was in snug quarters. Swaddling helps to recreate that snug feeling and helps your baby feel secure. When swaddled correctly, it is an effective way for your baby to fall and stay asleep for longer periods of time. 

A swaddled baby is also less likely to wake themselves up in case their Moro reflex is triggered. The Moro reflex is when your baby responds to a loud sound by throwing their head back and their arms outward. 

Swaddling should only be used when it is time for your little one to go to sleep, or as a soothing solution to fussiness. 

To swaddle your baby, spread the blanket out on a flat surface like the floor or bed and lay one corner down. Lay your baby with its head just above the part you folded over. 

Straighten one of your baby’s arms and wrap one corner of the blanket over this straight arm, and tuck it in between their other arm and body. Wrap the other corner around the baby and you have a snugly swaddled baby. 

Be sure that the swaddle is not too tight, and keep watch on your baby to make sure they do not become overheated. 

Swaddling is the first step of the 5’s technique. As you go through the S’s, keeping your baby swaddled while going through the rest of the actions will keep them feeling safe and secure. 

Side or Stomach Positioning

Although babies should be placed on their back to sleep, evidence shows that babies are less reactive to noise and experience longer periods of deep sleep when they are asleep on their tummy. Although there is overwhelming support that the safest position for babies to sleep is on their back. Sometimes this is not the most conducive to calming a fussy baby.

Fussy babies can be positioned while you are holding them so they are laying on their stomach or side with your careful eye monitoring. 

The most important thing is that you are with them the entire time they are in this position. Once your baby starts to calm down and hopefully show signs of having heavy eyelids, you can carefully rearrange them, so they are lying on their back for a safe snooze. 

Shushing

When your baby was a bun in the oven, also known as developing in the womb, they constantly heard noises that mom’s body was making. 

These noises would include the circulation of blood, inhaling and exhaling, any tummy rumbles, and muffling outside noises. It wasn’t what you would call a silent space of solitude, so your baby is okay with some noise!

Trying to sleep in a completely silent room can be difficult for many. 

White noise machines and portable fans are popular to have in bedrooms for the noise that is made that makes it a little easier to fall asleep. The same applies to your baby. Now that your baby is out of the womb, you can recreate the noises they used to hear by making a loud shushing noise. 

Don’t think of the quick and quiet “shhh” you may make at the movie theater. You’ll want this “shhh” to be long and loud, think of an appliance like a blender or vacuum cleaner. This would most likely mimic the noises that your baby heard in the womb. 

A helpful hint is to match the volume of the shush to your baby’s cry. Loud crying? Loud shushing. As your baby begins to calm, you can start to lower the volume of the shush until they are calm and content.

Swinging

Another way to recreate your baby’s life in the womb is to mimic the motion that they felt while mom went about her day. You may have seen other parents take their babies on car rides around the neighborhood, use a baby swing, or roll their baby in a stroller to help with fussiness. 

To successfully swing your baby’s fussiness away, support their head and neck and sway back and forth. You can add a little bounce in with this swing for some extra soothing action. While you don’t want to swing or bounce your baby super fast, the more fussy your baby, the quicker your movements should be. 

For a super fussy baby, a nice long and loud shush partnered with a quick swing should help your baby start to calm down. Quiet the shush and slow the swinging motion to match your baby’s energy. 

Sucking

Babies enjoy the feeling that sucking gives them. If this weren’t the case, there wouldn’t be what seems like a million different types of pacifiers on the store shelves! 

We also wouldn’t see babies who keep sucking their thumb into childhood. 

Even if your baby isn’t being fed, sucking is a comforting action for babies. This has been proven by research and also proven by our baby whispering family members who can just calm and comfort our baby in mere minutes by offering a clean finger. 

Don’t feel guilty about offering your baby a pacifier, but if they don’t want to take it, there’s no need to force it.

Conclusion

Now that you have been given all the knowledge of the 5 S’s put them to use the next time your baby is fussy. Soon you’ll discover the perfect combination that makes turning your fussy baby into a happy one a breeze.

Little Yawn Collective is here to help make bedtime a breeze. We offer sleepy essentials that help your little ones fall asleep and stay asleep easier. Our products are scientifically-backed, dermatologist and pediatrician approved, and use natural ingredients. 

Our Snooze Bundle is made up of our Soothing Shampoo & Body Wash with Calendula, Nourishing Body Lotion with Oat & Shea Butter, and our Relaxing Pillow Spray is the perfect component to incorporate into your bedtime routine. 

Each product contains our NaturalSnooze fragrance that helps create an environment that is soothing to your little one. If your baby is having a fussy night, your effective bedtime routine and the 5 S’s are powerful tools to help your baby turn their frowns into smiles and rest easy. 


Sources:

Swaddling: Is it Safe? | HealthyChildren.org

Newborn Reflexes | Stanford Children's Health

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (for Parents) | Nemours KidsHealth

Analgesic effect of non-nutritive sucking in term neonates | ScienceDirect

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