How to Use Your Lap to Quiet Your Colicky Baby - Woodmam


Don’t get discouraged if the movement seems a little complicated the first time you try it. After five to ten practices, you’ll see it’s one of the easiest ways for pooped parents to soothe upset infants. (It’s best to practice the Windshield Wiper with a doll or when your baby is quiet and alert.)

Here’s what to do:

1. Swaddle your baby tightly (the 1st “S”).

2. Find a comfortable chair to sit in with your feet resting flat on the floor. (Most parents find that sitting forward in the chair works best.)

3. Sit with your knees together and your feet a few inches apart (approximately the same distance as your shoulders).

4. Nestle your baby on his right side in the groove between your legs (the 2nd “S”), allowing his cheek and head to rest in your left hand (on top of your knees). If your baby is long, or your arms are short, pull him closer to you and let his ankles rest on your left hip.

5. Slide your right hand under his head so your two hands overlap a bit and his head is cradled in an open, loose grasp.

6. Soften your shoulders, take a deep breath, and let your body relax.

7. Roll your baby partly, or totally, onto his stomach. His tummy should press against your left arm or legs. Make sure he’s not at all rolled toward his back.

8. Lean forward over his body, and make a rough shhhh right next to his ear (the 3rd “S”). Your shhhh should be as loud as his crying.

9. Now swing (the 4th “S”) your knees side-to-side—like a windshield wiper. If he’s crying hard, move faster but make your moves smaller and smaller. In seconds you’ll be making quick, tiny movements—two to three beats per second and one inch from side to side. The louder your little one cries, the faster and smaller your swinging should be. Then, as he calms, gradually slow your motion down. (Remember, his head must jiggle like Jell-O back and forth between your hands to turn on the calming reflex.) Some parents prefer bouncing their baby up and down on their knees, but this often doesn’t work as well as swinging.

10. Finally, if your hands are well positioned, your left thumb should be in front of his mouth. Offer him your clean thumb to suck on (the 5th “S”). Don’t worry about your thumb being too big to fit; remember how big he can open his mouth when he cries! Or, if you prefer, your hand is also in position to hold a pacifier for him to suck on.
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