Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Happiest Baby?

I have heard many great things about this book, the author and his "baby whispering" techniques and was told by many to read it. I, running out of time and with an endless pile of "must read" books, decided to get the DVD from the library instead.

This 40 min video was great but I am left with the feeling of.... can this actually work? This pediatrician is well known for his techniques, the discovery of the "calming reflex", and the use of the 5 S's. 

So basically in a nut shell, he talks about how when the baby is born, its still pretty much a fetus. The baby needs another 3 months of intense comfort, love, support, and nurturing.  He calls this the 4th trimester. He argues with parents that say this will "spoil" their children. His view is that they are too young to consider constant contact "spoiling".

His 5 S's include (found on his website):
  • Swaddling: Tight swaddling provides the continuous touching and support your baby is used to experiencing within the womb.
  • Side/stomach position: The infant is placed on their left side to assist in digestion, or on their stomach to provide reassuring support. “But never use the stomach position for putting your baby to sleep,” cautions Karp. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is linked to stomach-down sleep positions. When a baby is in a stomach down position do not leave them even for a moment.
  • Shushing sounds: These imitate the continual whooshing sound made by the blood flowing through arteries near the womb.
  • Swinging: Newborns are used to the swinging motions within their mother’s womb, so entering the gravity driven world of the outside is like a sailor adapting to land after nine months at sea. “It’s disorienting and unnatural,” says Karp. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements all can help.
  • Sucking: “Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous system,” notes Karp, “and triggers the calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within the brain.”

He says that if you follow the 5 S's, you will calm a crying baby. What I was surprised about is the tightness of the swaddle, and the loudness of the shhhhh-ing. He literally shhhhhes in the babies ear at the level the baby is screaming. He notes that babies are thought to cry mostly because they are gassy but that its not always true. The reason why hair dryers and car rides work is because its using some of the 5's. Below you can see him in action.

I am interested in seeing if this will actually work. I am skeptical but I will try it and see how it goes.