Combining the 5 “S’s” into a Perfect Recipe for Your Baby’s Bliss - Woodmam

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be a terrific parent, but there are some little tricks that can help you do your job better. Most infant-care books list these calming tips, but that’s as unhelpful as listing the ingredients of a recipe without giving the instructions for how to combine and cook them.

Each individual “S” may be effective for soothing a mildly fussy baby. Your “easy” baby may only need to suck or to be danced around the room in order to be calmed. However, doing all five together can switch on the calming reflex so irresistibly that they soothe even the most frantic newborns. This layering of one “S” on top of another is so successful at making unhappy babies feel cozy and calm that one of my patients dubbed it “the Cuddle Cure.”

If the Cuddle Cure were indeed a cake recipe made from the 5 “S’s,” I think it would be for a layer cake.

Swaddling is the first step of calming and the first layer in this comfort cake. Next is the Side/Stomach position. These initial “S’s” prepare your baby to be calmed. Swaddling sets the stage for success by keeping her from flailing and accidentally overstimulating herself; the side or stomach position also stops the flailing, by taking away your baby’s feeling that she’s falling and by activating the calming reflex.

The next layer is Shhhh, followed immediately by Swinging. Both activate the calming reflex so your baby pays attention to you and the wonderful cuddling you’re giving her. These get her more and more relaxed.

Last, but not least, Sucking is the icing on the cake! It works best after the other layers have calmed your baby down. It, too, triggers the calming reflex and keeps it turned on to make your baby feel deeply and profoundly at peace. (Of course, from your baby’s point of view, you aren’t making a cake, but she will feel like you have popped her back inside the “oven” for a little fourth-trimester time!)
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