Thursday, January 16, 2014

Swaddle, side, sleestak...

A book we downloaded for after our baby would was born—The Happiest Baby on the Block—talks about the "secret" to stopping babies from crying in a process the author calls the five S's: swaddling, sideways, shooshing, swinging, and sucking.

Basically, that is wrapping the baby up in a blanket in a manner resembling a burrito (to replicate the confining nature of the womb), placing the baby on his side or stomach rather than on his back (which can trigger a fear of falling), making a loud "shh" noise to imitate the sounds he heard when in utero, rocking him back and forth, and giving him something to suck on.

That's all good and well, and I'm not saying I haven't had some success with aspects of that. Our son doesn't always seem to like to be swaddled (wanting to kick those long legs), and he doesn't have any interest in pacifiers (and even just a finger he'll spit out). My way of holding him when I rock him doesn't allow for him being on his side that well, but I try to do that some. I have shooshed him with some success, but I have found a variation that proved to work.

I made the hissing sound like the sleestak from the old Sid and Marty Krofft show Land of the Lost--a show from my childhood.

Sure, that's basically a sort of white noise, but I wasn't trying to create that effect; I was imitating these fictional reptilian bipeds with the slight variation in pitch. The thing about that: I can make it both while exhaling and while inhaling so I can keep it going for relatively long stretches. I "shoosh" can only really be done while breathing out.

I'm not saying its effectiveness necessarily will hold, but as he grows I imagine there will be an ongoing process of adapting methods. The novelty will wear off for both of us, but for the moment he tends to quiet and I find it personally amusing.

There's still room for that as a parent, isn't there?

1 comment:

So, what do you think?