Becoming a parent is one of life’s biggest joys and responsibilities. Like many major events, the more planning and preparation done beforehand, the easier the transition is once the big day is here and you are suddenly responsible for the most precious baby ever.
For first-time parents, one of your most anxiety-provoking and helpless situations can often be when your beautiful new baby cries incessantly and you cannot comfort her.
Babies cry because that’s what babies do. It is their only way of communicating to you.
Babies do not learn to soothe themselves until they are 3 to 4 months old and up until then, learning a simple method may allow your baby and the rest of the family to relax and enjoy this precious time.
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Dr. Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, developed the 5 S system to help your baby “turn on its calming switch.” Designed to mimic the environment of the womb, the 5 S system stands for:
▪ Side stomach (while awake)
▪ Shushing sounds
Swaddling helps baby to feel supported as in the womb. (Velcro swaddlers are the safest). Lying baby on its side while awake will help put pressure on the abdomen, be comforting and aid with digestion. Gentle shushing sounds near baby’s ear mimics the sound of blood flow in utero and helps calm parents down, too. Swinging, rocking or swaying with the baby can help.
Sucking is a normal soothing behavior. Pacifiers can be helpful, and if used properly, will not interfere with breast-feeding.
You can watch a demonstration of the 5 S system at Baptist Health Lexington’s Expecting Great Things maternity event Saturday, April 30 at Keeneland Entertainment Center. This free event will give you and your significant other a chance to meet and ask questions of obstetricians and pediatricians, learn about car seat safety, get information about breast-feeding, and see some of the latest products available for your much-anticipated little one.
Scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Expecting Great Things will offer great advice, food, and prizes. You may even be lucky enough to go home with the grand prize: a free delivery at Baptist Health and a dream nursery from Babies “R” Us.
Pregnancy brings a plethora of good and not-so-good advice from well-meaning friends and family members. Get accurate answers from the experts at the Expecting Great Things maternity event. No registration required.
Shari H. Stewart is the childbirth education coordinator at Baptist Health Lexington.