Daddy Duty

Sleep, Eat, Diaper Change. Repeat.

The 5 S’s

on January 15, 2012

A big trend in baby care (as far as I’m aware) is Dr. Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s. As reported by Wikipedia,,
“The technique is designed to recreate the essential elements of the experience of living in the womb. Human babies, according to Karp, are born less-developed than other mammals. The first three months of life Karp calls the "fourth trimester". Karp believes there is a "calming reflex" that causes babies to instantly relax when they are given clues that they are safe inside the womb. There are five parts of the technique he calls the "five S’s".

  1. Swaddling: Tight swaddling recreates the confinement of the womb.
  2. Side/Stomach position: Holding the baby on the right side slightly face down.
  3. Shushing: Karp uses a loud "ssh" sound similar to the loud white noise that is present in the womb.
  4. Swinging (and jiggling): Gentle but constant jiggling (especially of the head) is intended to remind babies of the constant motion they experienced in the womb.
  5. Sucking: Karp also recommends the use of pacifiers.

We’ve tried some and all of these techniques with varying success. I’ll say it helps at times, but it isn’t quite the silver bullet I’d like to have. JJ doesn’t cry and wail like I’ve seen some babies do so far. He cries pretty much only for feeding, diaper changing, and if there’s an annoyance (temperature, something in the way, etc). By addressing the above, he usually is calm and is constantly scanning his environment for new and exciting things.


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