When Darren and I were about to become parents, a sweet friend from the school I taught at told me about Happiest Baby on the Block (here is a short video on youtube that will QUICKLY show you his 5 S’s to soothing). Well we would like to thank my teaching partner for showing us these methods because it has SAVED our BACON! Let me break it down for you:
The 5 S’s to soothing your baby (and a bonus at the end we also use)
1: Swaddle – All of our babies like to be swaddled and as mentioned in my Sleep Training Blog, we have used the traditional and the batwing swaddle. Our babies have LOVED to be all snug as a bug in a rug! (Believe me they fight it but are so happy that mommy and daddy don’t give up and swaddle them, they sleep so much better). If you think about it, they were super tight in the belly, warm and secure; I can only imagine the swaddle reminds them of this. We never bought the fancy swaddles with the velcro, but we did fall in love with Muslin Swaddle Blankets we bought them used or got them as baby gifts and have used them with all the kids! Also, as they get older the swaddle helps with their startle reflex which can wake them up.
2: Sideways or Stomach – I didn’t believe this would help at first, but boy was I wrong! Our first madeline had rough stomach issues, lots of gas and spit up! But, goodness gracious when she was fussy and we would lay her on her sideways in our arms or on her tummy she would calm right down. It made a believer out of me for sure!
3: Sucking – All our kids are binky/pacifier LOVERS! They all started off with the Avent Green Soothie and then “up-graded” to the Nuk pacifier. To be honest I was nervous about them becoming “thumb suckers” and me not being able to take away their thumbs, so we encouraged all our kids to enjoy the binky over their thumb. (We did wait before giving them the binky to reduce the chance of nipple confusion, but in all honesty the wait time decreases with each kiddo). We also made a decision to take the binky away at 9 months with each kid and so far it has worked well for them.
4: Swinging – This swinging motions has different “levels” that we have used at different ages. When they were younger babies we would, swaddle them, put them on their side, give them the binky and then gentle swing their head moving them no more then a inch in either direction. This then moved to what I like to call the mommy swing, you know that movement all mommies make when they are holding a baby. I even find myself swinging with no baby in my arms hehe.
5: Shushing – Literally you are telling your baby shhhhhhhhh, but it is not the quick Shh, it is long, drawn out and louder then you would shhhh someone in the library. This is one of my husbands favorite S’s and he does it so well. He does all the S’s before this and then push his mouth close to the babies ear and shhhhhhhh’s at a good volume and drawn out. (He was a swimmer and has the lung capacity of a blue whale.) This shushing it replicated later when we are sleep training through white noise.
6: SINGING – My husband and I LOVE to sing and make music. Darren is an amazing musician and I enjoy singing very much! Some great memories I have of times spent with my babies is singing to them. I love it when they are fussy and here me sing and quiet down to listen, my mommy heart is overflowing even thinking of those times. I also have this lasting memory of one night when Madeline was super young and couldn’t sleep, (which was unusual because she our best sleeper,) Darren grabbed his guitar which was hanging on our wall and sat down in her room and starting playing his favorite music. Boy, I tell you, she responded so fast to his music playing.
SO there you go, the 5 (plus 1) S’s to soothing babies. This is what worked for us, there are so many other great ideas out there too!