This book could also be called: The Most Sane Mommy on the Block
Seriously? This book should be required reading before you are allowed to leave the hospital with a baby.
I'm pretty sure that I was vaguely aware that babies cried sometimes. That is, babies other than mine. My baybee was never going to cry. And if she did? I would need to just pick her up and that would calm her. Other people's babies cried and fussed all day and night, but not mine.
The reality is that I had no idea how to calm a baby. I had no idea that babies, after the first few weeks, need help calming and falling asleep. I didn't understand what people meant when they said that the first six weeks suck. It wasn't until I started referring to Olivia as an Asshole in casual conversation that I truly understood the suck that was the first six weeks.
I spent a lot of time rocking, bouncing, pacing the floors. Begging. Reasoning with my 5 week old...PLEASE JUST SLEEP, GAWD!
At the recommendation of my pediatrician, I turned to my best friend in the entire world: Google. The 5 S's search hooked me up with this:
I read the book in one day. I watched some You Tube videos of the method and some interviews with the author, Dr. Harvey Karp.
And then my life changed for the better.
Dr. Harvey Karp - Jennepper's Pick for Sexiest Man Alive
He does have nice teeth, doesn't he? I love him. Like fat kids love cake. More than that even.
The whole point of this book is to calm your fussy baby using The Five S's:
I'm sure that you've tried at least one or two of these with little to no success. ME TOOOO! But the thing is, you have to do it a certain way for it to work, and you pretty much have to do all of those things at once.
Let me describe it to you New Kids On The Block Style:
Step 1: We Can Have Lots of Fun!
Wrapped up like a delicious baby burrito, that is!
Your baby will scream at you like you are the Satan himself. Just keep going. Swaddle that screaming little shit, really really tight, and then move on to step 2.
We use the Swaddle Me blankets, because we need Velcro to keep Olivia in burrito prison. No matter how tight we swaddled a receiving blanket, screaming Houdini would bust free. Whatever you do? If you want sleep? Make that swaddle tight.
Step 2: There's So Much We Can Do!
While laying on our side/stomach!
After you strap your baby into its straight jacket, turn her over on her side - all the way on her side, almost so her belly is leaning forward. When Olivia was little, I could do this standing up using one arm. Now that she is a 10 pound heifer (ha!), I put my thighs together and lay her down with her butt against my belly and her legs on my side.
Step 3: It's Just You And Me
Or so your baby will think since you will now shush in her ear so loud that it's impossible for her to hear anything else! You shush as loud as she is crying. You get get softer as she calms down, but keep it up for as long as it takes for her to be completely calm for a significant period of time.
Step 4: I Can Give You More
So this lyric doesn't really follow the method, but too bad because I'm too far in to back out.
The next S is for Swing. Sway. Shake. Stuff like that. There are a few different ways to do this. You can calm the baby with swaddle, side, shush, then plop them in a swing on the fastest speed. Or you can shush and sway.
Or, my favorite, you can jiggle the baby's head. Really light and quick, like you had too much caffeine. Or, as Dr. Karp says, "like jell-o on a plate."
Now that you think I'm crazy, here's a YouTube video I found. And interview with Dr. Karp, where he demonstrates this entire thing...
Step 5: Don't You Know That The Time Has Arrived
For you to suck it!
Or, more accurately, for your baby to suck it.
Once you have the baby all calm and jell-o-on-a-plate-y, you can give them a pacifier, finger, or delightful nipple to suck on.
Here is another video that I found, and I thought these people were funny. Plus, they actually calm a crying baby, and not some well-behaved fame whore like on the talk show in the first video.
So. Do this.
Live it, love it, and dream about it when you actually GET SOME SLEEP.
The happiest baby on my block: