How To Help Soothe An Unsettled Baby

The first three months of your new baby’s life are the most magical and often the most stressful and unpredictable months of your life. So many babies are fussy and unsettled at this age, and sleep often seems elusive!

What Are The 5 S’s of Sleep?

Dr Harvey Karp, an American Paediatrician, wrote a bestselling book entitled “The Happiest Baby on the Block”.   In this book, he writes about his method of helping soothe young babies who are unsettled and fretful. 

He split his method into different areas he calls “the 5 S’s.”

Swaddling – swaddling a young baby with the arms down by their sides can help soothe the crying as it mimics the feeling of being in the womb. However, it’s essential to follow Safer Sleep Guidelines when swaddling your baby – for more info, you can check on this link from the Lullaby Trust – Safer Swaddling.

Side/stomach – holding your baby with their side or stomach down can help with a cranky baby, particularly if they are struggling with wind. The “Tiger in the Tree” position can soothe fractious babies. Many videos on Youtube show you how to hold your baby in this position. Never put your baby down to sleep on their side or stomach – this should only be done when they are in your arms.

Shushing – Strong shushing again helps to mimic their environment in the womb. White or pink noise can produce the same effect.

Swinging – Movement can be beneficial in calming a baby. Each baby reacts to different movements. Some babies like slow, gentle rocking, whereas others will be calmed more easily with faster, jiggling movements.

Sucking –  The sucking reflex is a natural soother, whether during breast or bottle feeding or on a dummy.

The first few months can be tough on new parents, especially if you have a baby who is often upset and unsettled. Hang in there – you’re doing great!