Science Proves the Soothing Power of the “5 S’s”
If you havenâ€™t already learned the 5 Sâ€™s by heart, you may want to start memorizing them now: swaddle, side, swing, shush and suck. A new study says the 5-point soothing methodÂ is one of the best ways to calm a baby â€“ especially after a vaccination shot.
Pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp originally proposed the 5 Sâ€™s method in â€śThe Happiest Baby on the Block.â€ť He designed the system to replicate the womb environment: swaddle the baby and hold her on her side or stomach, swing her making a loud shushing sound, and let her suck on a pacifier.
Though the 5 Sâ€™s are widely celebrated amongst Karp fans, this study is the first to back up Karpâ€™s technique with scientific evidence that it works. Researchers tested over 200 2- to 4-month-olds scheduled for their vaccinations at the doctorâ€™s office.Â The study found that babies who got the 5 Sâ€™s treatment immediately after their shots showed fewer signs of pain and cried less.
Though the study focused on babiesâ€™ reactions after vaccinations, Karp asserts that his technique works in other circumstances too.
Sadly, this magical method doesnâ€™t work forever. After babies reachÂ 3 months of age and grow less attached to womblike environments, the calming reflex tends to fade and the 5 Sâ€™s arenâ€™t as effective.
Do (or did) you use the 5 Sâ€™s with your babe?
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