The Fourth Trimester: Soothing your New Born the Natural Approach
Calming a new born to sleep is tricky, sadly as new parents we don’t get a manual or training . There are a lot of help books around so a lot of things to try but I found the following worked for my 2 and many other mums who I've recommended it to since.
I can’t take credit for it, this was a theory published by Dr Harvey Karp who you can google to get more info, he was my hero while my babies were small, I worshipped at the Altar of all things Karp!
His theory is this;- Because of the size of our brain as human’s we’re born to early, within a couple of hours of birth the majority of mammal babies are able to walk or run mainly out of necessity for survival in the wild. Human babies would prefer to gestate for a further 3 months which is where the term the 4th trimester came from.
This theory is that if we replicate all the conditions our baby experiences in the womb for the first 3 months of their little lives, the more content they will feel therefore soothe and sleep more easily
Karp devised a guide he called 5 S’s in order to make it easier to remember.
1) Stimulation:Take your baby away from any Stimulation, tv's, laptops, phones.
2) Sucking, give them a small orthadental dummy if they haven’t found their thumb yet
3) Swaddling , there has been some conflicting views on this over the last 5 years however your baby is very tightly held in the womb which is what we’re trying to replicate here so we can’t dispute nature can we?
4) Shaking (not actual shaking - that’s not nice!), holding them on their back or side
giving them gentle jiggles/wobbles whilst they drop off, imagine what they would feel if still in your Tummy and you were in a walk, pretty jiggly!
5) "SHHHHing": And the final magic one is Shhhhhhing over and over very close to their ear which is what your baby would be hearing as the blood flowed around them in the womb
Staying calm is the hardest but if you're breathing is calm so will your pulse be, the knock on effect is your baby is reassured all is ok and begin to switch off .
Photography by Laura May Photography