Swaddle, side, shush, swing and suck: How the '5 S's' really DO stop your newborn from crying
16:28 GMT, 16 April 2012
16:58 GMT, 16 April 2012
It's a question that has perplexed many a new parent – how to calm your baby when they are having a crying fit
Dr Harvey Karp and author of the book 'The Happiest Baby on the Block', believes he has the answer.
He calls it the '5 S's', which involves swaddling the baby in a blanket, putting them in a side-on position, making shushing sounds, swinging them and giving them a pacifier to suck.
A father is able to stop his daughter Julia crying by using the '5 S's' technique (see video below)
Within half a minute Julia stops crying
This works, he told Msnbc, by replicating a womb environment.
What is more his theory has been successfully tested in a medical trial and found to be extremely effective at soothing babies after receiving essential jabs.
Dr John Harrington was inspired after seeing a lecture on the subject given by Dr Karp. He decided to test it at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Virginia where he worked.
Dr Harvey Karp designed his baby calming technique by recreating the experience of the womb
He split a group of 230 infants who were due vaccines into four groups. One group was given water while a second group was given sugar water before the getting the jab. The third group were only given the '5 S's' after their shot while the fourth group received a sugar dose beforehand and the '5 S's' after.
Dr Harrington and the team found the babies who received the sugar solution, which is standard practice, were still crying more than two minutes after getting the injection. However, most of the babies who had the physical intervention stopped by 45 seconds.
Dr Harrington said: 'By a minute, nobody was crying of making any sort of fuss at all.'
But keen parents who want to use the techniques at home must be prepared to practice.
Dr Karp told Msnbc: 'Parents do many of these things intuitively, but they may not be doing them correctly.
'You have to do them (5 S's) exactly right, or they don't work.'
Shushing must be a loud continuous noise, while swaddling should be tight to make the baby feel secure, he said.
He noted that the calming reflex wore off over time and was less effective in four-month old babies than it was in two-month-olds.