Teaching children to cope with stress can begin as early as birth, according to Harvey Karp, M.D. He is the author of The Happiest Baby on the Block. Dr. Karp states that STRESS can be calmed in infants by using the 5 S’s:

  1. Swaddling: A feeling of pure “wrap-ture.” Wrapping your baby makes him feel as if he has magically returned to the womb. This also helps your baby from “flailing” so the following “S’s” can work.
  2. Side/Stomach: Your baby’s “feel good” position. Some babies like to sleep on their backs while others feel they are in a free fall position. This free-fall triggers the Moro reflex. This is the best position for calming your infant however when it comes to sleep, the back is the best position.
  3. Shhhhing: Your baby’s favorite soothing sound. Believe it or not a “shhhhh” sound is music to your infant’s ears. The “shhhhh” comforts him by mimicking the whooshing noise of blood flowing thru your arteries.
  4. Swinging: A rock-a-bye baby. Monotonous, jiggly movement is referred to as swinging. Swinging may need to be hard at first to gain the infant’s attention and then reduced to a gentle movement to keep him calm.
  5. Sucking: The icing on the cake. Sucking triggers your infants calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within his brain which causes relaxation.

The 5″S”‘s are fantastic tools, but like all tools your skill in using them will only increase with practice.

As your infant grows there are a vast variety of things to help your child be calm. Getting them to relax enough to bend and sway and not be so stiff helps a lot. One video available is “Quiet Time A Visit with Nature”. This video is available at the Muskogee Public Library. The number is j613.79 Qui. Distributed by Simitar Entertainment. 1997 Starbrook, inc.

As with all methods practice, practice, practice. Remember the calmer you are the calmer your child will be.