Five S’s for Soothing

Five S's

Your baby communicates with you through crying. At first, your baby will probably not cry much. An increase in crying starts somewhere around two weeks, peaks around two months and decreases around four months.  

A lower than average crier might cry one hour a day at two weeks old, peak at two hours a day at two months and then drop back down to one hour a day by month four. An average crier might cry roughly two hours at two weeks, three-ish hours by two months and back down to two-ish hours by four months. An above average crier can start out at about two weeks crying 3+ hours a day, moving up to 5-6+ hours by two months and then slowly dropping down to 2+ by month four.

Why babies cry checklist – 

  • Is she hungry? 
  • Does she need to burp?
  • Is her diaper dirty?
  • Is she overstimulated? 
  • Is she tired?
  • Is she sick? 
  • Is she too hot or cold? 

If you have checked all of the above but your little one just can’t seem to settle we recommend trying these calming techniques, often referred to as the 5 S’s. This is one of our favorite calming tools our postpartum doulas love teaching to families. 

Some babies only need to use one of the five S’s and some need to use them all. If your baby is still unhappy after the first step, swaddling, keep adding in each step and soon you will start to see your baby calm. 

  •  Swaddle – Swaddling mimics the secure feeling of being inside the womb. When swaddled, babies’ arms should be at their sides and their hips should be loose and flexed. 
  •  Side/Stomach Position – When your baby is fussy and awake, hold your baby in your arms in a side or tummy-down position in your arms, on your lap, or place him over your shoulder. (When you are laying your baby down to sleep, flat on the back is the safest.)
  •  Shush – Play white noise either with a machine, a phone app or making the “shh” noise mimics the loud sound they heard while inside the womb. 
  •  Swing – Babies spent nine months being rocked and jiggled and some fussy babies often need to feel fast, tiny movements to calm. Don’t forget to support the head and neck while rocking your baby and never shake your baby. This movement is more like jello jiggling. 
  • Suck – Some babies love to suck and find great comfort in it. If this is your baby, sucking may help her relax and calm down. You can offer the breast, pacifier or clean pinky finger.

Mastering the five S’s can take a few tries. If this is new to you, we recommend trying when baby is happy and calm or trying it a few times with your postpartum doula.

If you are ever concerned about your infants crying, call your baby’s healthcare provider, ask for help, hire a postpartum doula for additional hands and tips and tricks cope with the crying and reducing crying times. 

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