How to Stop a Baby From Crying
Being a baby sucks: all you do is eat, sleep, poop, and watch helplessly as someone changes your diaper over and over again.
So it's understandable that a baby would scream its head off whenever it gets tired, hungry, or bored.
Doctors and friends (and everyone else with an opinion) all say that "the baby needs to cry," but that's no consolation at the end of a long day when baby is screaming her pretty little head off and mommy and daddy have had enough. (See also: What a New Baby Really Needs)
If a diaper change, feeding, and a nap don't solve the crisis, then it's time to bring in the big guns.
The most effective technique I've found to calm a baby comes from one Dr. Karp and his book, The Happiest Baby in the Block. In it, Dr. Karp points out that babies are born prematurely and still need to develop outside the womb for a "fourth trimester."
During these three months, the secret to calming a baby is to trigger the "calming reflex."
The secret to triggering this reflex is to make the baby feels like they're back in the womb. The Five S's that trigger the calming reflex are:
- Side/stomach laying
Sounds like a lot to take in? I used to think so too, until I saw the DVD version of the book (which I highly recommend), and what I saw floored me. In it, the good doctor Karp puts the ninja moves on crying babies and — wouldn't you know — they stop crying on the spot.
Take a look for yourself at the good doctor in action:
Here's video of a regular Joe using the five S's:
I've tried this myself and usually I only need to do the first three S's for my baby to suddenly stop crying. It's a little creepy at first, but it's also the most beautiful sound in the world.
For more on Dr. Karp and his technique, take a look at his site, The Happiest Baby.