Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Suggestions for calming a crying baby are welcome.

It seems these days, everyone has their own idea of how to calm a crying or fussy baby.  I have heard things like feeding my baby formula before bed will help him sleep longer or giving the baby some cereal in a bottle will help as well.  After researching those two suggestions, I have decided that those are things that I will not pursue.  I have to admit that for the most part, my little guy has been great.  However, like my older child, there comes a point every night where he becomes fussy.  This time has been commonly referred to as the "witching hour."  To get around this fussiness, I have been trying several methods.  Since I am breastfeeding, I start off by nursing.  I notice that beginning in the late evening to around 11PM, I feel like I am nursing constantly.  He seems to be cluster feeding at this hour and can't seem to get enough.  It has left me quite hungry and thirsty during this time.  It has also turned me into a night owl.  I have always been more of a morning person and this is not something I want to continue.

I have also been trying the methods from the book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, by Dr. Harvey Karp.  In this book, Dr. Karp uses the theory about the "fourth trimester."  He states that babies are born "before they are ready" and therefore, to calm a crying baby, you have to create a "womblike atmosphere."  He recommends the 5 S's to calm a baby.  The 5 S's are:
1. Swaddling
2. Side or Stomach Position
3. Shhhh (White Noise)
4. Swinging
5. Sucking
To accomplish the 5 S's, I have been doing a lot of babywearing with the Moby wrap and swaddling.  This method worked really well with my older son.  Unfortunately, since we're still establishing breastfeeding, we aren't using pacifiers yet.  This baby has a strong sucking need and I think until we introduce a pacifier, I will be his pacifier.  The following video demonstrates the 5 S's (notice the dad is wearing the Moby wrap).

Another method that I have been reading about is the Dunstan Baby Language.  With this method, it is believed that before the age of 3 months, babies will make 5 "sound reflexes."  These "sound reflexes" are a baby's way of communicating.  The 5 "sound reflexes" are as follows:
1. Neh - I'm hungry
2. Owh - I'm sleepy
3. Heh - I'm experiencing discomfort
4. Eairh - I have lower gas pain
5. Eh - I have (upper) gas
If you can identify the "sound reflex" you can determine what your baby needs.  The following are video clips of the 5 "sound reflexes."
As you can see, she was featured on Oprah Winfrey's Show.  A longer video of her segment can be found below:
I was intrigued by this and started paying attention to my baby's cries.  It turns out that I can recognize the "Neh" and "Eh" sounds.  The others, I'm not so sure.  I guess I'll have to try the DVD rather than rely on the YouTube videos.

Does anyone else have suggestions for calming a crying baby?  What has worked for you?

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