How to Calm Your Fussy Infant

by How To Mommy on 03.11.11

How to Calm a Fussy BabyIt’s 3 AM.  Your newborn has been crying for 2 hours.  You’ve fed them.  You’ve burped them.  You’ve changed their diaper.

You are about to rip your hair out of your head, your eardrums are bleeding, and you’ve now joined your baby in crying your eyes out.

Sound familiar?

You’ll be happy to know there is relief!  It’s only five S’s away…

Dr. Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, has developed a method to calm colicky babies, but I’ve found it works for all infants and all fits.  Of course, make sure they’re not hungry or dirty first.

Learn these five S’s and you’ll be on your way to peace and quiet (and maybe one step closer to sanity).

  1. Swaddling – Tight swaddling provides the continuous touching and support the fetus experienced while still in Mom’s womb.
  2. Side/stomach position – You place your baby, while holding her, either on her left side to assist in digestion, or on her stomach to provide reassuring support. Once your baby is happily asleep, you can safely put her in her crib, on her back.
  3. Shushing Sounds – These sounds imitate the continual whooshing sound made by the blood flowing through arteries near the womb. This white noise can be in the form of a vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer, a fan and so on. The good news is that you can easily save the motors on your household appliances and get a white noise CD which can be played over and over again with no worries.
  4. Swinging – Newborns are used to the swinging motions that were present when they were still in Mom’s womb. Every step mom took, every movement caused a swinging motion for your baby. After your baby is born, this calming motion, which was so comforting and familiar, is abruptly taken away. Your baby misses the motion and has a difficult time getting used to it not being there. “It’s disorienting and unnatural,” says Karp. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements all can help.
  5. Sucking – “Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous system,” notes Karp, “and triggers the calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within the brain.” This “S” can be accomplished with breast, bottle, pacifier or even a finger.

These worked for me every time one of my daughters was having one of those fits for no reason at all.  I’d love to hear from you.  If you try them and they work (or didn’t), let me know!  Leave me a comment or send me an email.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DP March 13, 2011 at 3:29 PM

This is a great post. And it’s always great to hear that these tried tips worked for your family!

Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy, and Babies


2 How To Mommy March 13, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Thanks, DP! It really is amazing how it works. It’s just nice to have some steps to try when you’re at your wit’s end!


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