Skip to content

Health & Baby

Font Size

New Techniques to Calm a Crying Baby

Imitating the Rhythm and Noise of the Womb May Stop Baby's Crying

The 5 S's continued...

Karp says that tightly swaddling a crying infant with its arms down by its side initially may make the crying worse, but holding the baby on its side after swaddling and gently jiggling it while supporting the head and neck has an immediate calming effect, he notes. "Overstimulation is not nearly as big of a problem as understimulation. Babies miss the rhythmic, hypnotic sounds and movement."

"If the five S's are done exactly right with just enough vigor, the calming reflex will be turned on and the baby will stop crying," Karp explains. "If a parent can get the baby to stop crying they feel like a million bucks, but if they can't they feel miserable. Parents need to be taught how to quiet their babies."

Teaching this to parents may be useful," says Karen Miller, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at Tufts University in Boston. "But more research needs to be done to show the techniques are safe and effective."

Many of the individual techniques have been found to be valid, she says. "It's the whole package that needs further research before it is endorsed."

1|2

Baby's First Year Newsletter

Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
Mother with baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
 
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
 

mother holding baby at night
ARTICLE
mother with sick child
QUIZ
 
baby with pacifier
VIDEO
Track Your Babys Vaccines
TOOL
 
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Slideshow
Woman holding feet up to camera
Article
 
Father kissing newborn baby
Article
baby gear slideshow
Slideshow