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The 5 Ss to a calm baby

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Liza Montanino
Paediatric sleep consultant

The five Ss are a group of techniques that calm and soothe your baby by mimicking the conditions they experienced in your uterus. Because in the first 12 weeks of your little one’s life, their needs are not all that different from the ones they had while in your belly.

1. Swaddling

The idea is that wrapping your baby’s body up in a light, breathable blanket will help your baby feel just as snug and secure as they did in your uterus. Swaddling can also stop your baby waking up from their own startle reflex. You know when they randomly shoot out their little arms and wake themselves up? Yeah. Swaddling can help with that.

2. Sucking

Babies love to suck on pacifiers and their fingers because it helps activate their calming reflex. Sucking lowers the heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels - and it even reduces crying! This is called non-nutritive sucking, as opposed to nutritive sucking, which occurs when your baby is eating.

3. Shhing

Shhing (or using white noise) mimics the sounds that your baby will have heard in utero (namely, the sound of your blood rushing around other), and provides a calm and soothing sound.

4. Swinging, rocking and bouncing

Providing movement for your baby is great for soothing a fussy baby because they were used to near-constant motion while in the womb. The movement can help lull your baby to calm… and even to sleep!

5. Side hold position

This mimics the position babies are often squeezed into in utero! It offers comfort and familiarity that will soothe your little one.

Combining two or three of these techniques can be particularly effective, especially during the so-called witching hour of 5-7pm!