Updated: Jun 15, 2022
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Having a baby can be either a joyous or stressful time–usually both—of your life. Suffering from postpartum mood disorders like depression or anxiety can make your baby’s crying and fussiness be aggravating or annoying to you, thus making your mood worse. Not great for sleep deprived working parents to have to run on empty just because you don't know what to do. Don’t let a fussy baby affect the joys of your parenting journey.
Remember, babies' only form of communication until they can talk is crying and body language. We have to allow them to cry to express themselves and tell us they need something. It’s up to us to figure out what that something is and in the meantime, getting them calm is the first step. You simply cannot think, respond or help your baby if they are distraught as you likely will be too if you don’t have some coping skills and tools in your kit.
I learned this technique called the 5 S’s at several trainings for my work as a perinatal health professional. I have adapted this technique along the way to do it in a way that works for me and my clients. I enjoy teaching others how to implement this as a skill set in your baby soothing remedies. To learn more visit the Happiest Baby on the Block, Dr. Harvey Karp, pediatrician and baby whisperer, has an amazing and extensive blog.
Fun fact, these are the same folks that invented the Snoo that so many parents seem to love. It’s a bit overpriced in my opinion to be accessible to folks but I like the idea of the product itself for parents who might be struggling with postpartum mood changes and need some extra help with sleep and soothing.
Here’s how to calm your baby when all else fails or you need a foolproof quick go to routine for calming your baby and to have an easy way of teaching others how to care for and handle your crying baby:
Click here download a free handout for your phone!
THE 5 S’s for a Happy Baby
S #1 - Shush
Take it from a trusted source, babies actually don’t need total silence to sleep. White noise and other common household noises are all ok to have going while baby is sleeping, and in fact it can help. In the womb, the sound of the blood flow is a shush louder than a vacuum cleaner. But, not all white noise is created equal. Hissy fans and ocean sounds often fail because they lack the womb’s rumbly quality. The best way to imitate these magic sounds is white noise. You can use your mouth, making the “shushing” noise very audibly into your baby’s ear. Tired of that, there are devices that can mimic this as well:
Frida 2-in-1 portable sound machine
S #2 - Side or Stomach Position
The back is the only safe position for sleeping, but it’s the worst position for calming fussiness. This S can be activated by holding a baby on her side, on her stomach or over your shoulder. You’ll see your baby chill almost instantly!