Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Happiest Baby on the Block
Ah, yes, if only we could all claim our baby was the happiest on the block. I know mine is. (My child is very advanced. Ha Ha :P) But there were a couple nights when Little Olive was a newborn where she would cry and cry for hours. It would be the early AM hours, and I felt exhausted, overwhelmed, and lost. I held her, cuddled, and nursed, but it didn't work right away. We purchased gripe water for fear that she was a colic baby. Nooo....that dreaded word! But the gripe water didn't make any difference. Eventually everything got better, but I wish I had had a solution to make those nights more doable.
My midwife told me about this book and I wish I had read it before Mal was born. It is phenomenal. Its most important message is the 'fourth trimester' - this means that the first three months of the baby's life should mimic the womb. He believes that babies spend nine months in the womb being held and pampered in their perfect home, and that's why they cry outside. He says he has the cure for colic, and he explains it by using the Five S's:
1) Swaddle - very important and effective!
2) Side/stomach - get the baby off her back
3) Swing - resembling the gentle sway of movement in the womb
4) Shhhh - loud shushing sounds right in the baby's ear
5) Sucking - stimulates the calming reflex
He says if you do all these things, preferably in this order, the baby will stop crying.
This book really helped us. I have to say the swaddle was the most helpful addition to our lives. After teaching my husband how to do it (the book shows a super tight way to do this), we started to swaddle our baby every night. She slept amazingly well - almost too well as I wanted her to still nurse 2 - 3 times per night. (I know, what a horrible problem to have!)
I would highly recommend this book to any new parent. Some of it is repetitive, so you can skip those parts. But overall, Dr. Karp enlightens us in a sensitive and loving way. I admire books that encourage parents to hold their babies as much as possible. It just makes sense!