Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Happiest Baby on the Block

Happiest Baby On The Block

After many weeks of debate I finally caved and ordered the DVD. The reviews on Amazon as well as some wonderful mommas who swear by it were the driving force behind the decision.

I am naively confident in my infant & toddler care ability. Working full time in a day care for years will give you that faith. That confidence is wearing thin though. Sure, I have no doubt in my ability to bottle feed, hold, change and interact. But as we draw closer and closer to Riley being an outside baby I Remember the screaming colic and one poor little nugget with reflux. When I think of the screaming I also remember my ability to count down the minutes (or seconds) until I could give the baby back. Hand her over to her parents, get in my car and drive home to my daddy's safe warm house and sit on my ass for 5 hrs watching some pointless TV show before falling asleep soundly for 8 hrs.

Now I'm going to be that mother with no makeup and messy hair that gets handed her screaming baby by a skinny 20-something chick who smiles sweetly before hopping in her car to get to the kegger before cups run out. I NEED A PLAN!!

I have dreams of me and Riley having a battle of wills. Her sitting in her bouncer red, sweaty and furious. Me on the floor in front of her staring, amazed at her volume level and completely unable to soothe her.

Since I obviously can not put my child back I need to be armed with information and proven technique. Enter Dr. Harvey Karp. Dr. Karp is a pediatrician and child development specialist who believes in the 4th trimester. The idea that babies are not capable of dealing with all the changes and feelings outside the uterus. Dr. Karp believes that mimicking life inside the uterus will trigger the calming reflex and fussy babies will calm.

They suggest the 5 S's
- Swaddling - tight with arms down
- Side/Stomach Position - in arms only never leave baby alone on side or stomach. Once calm place on back for sleeping
- Shushing - loud. Louder than the cries and close to the ear.
- Swinging - more like jiggling, no more than an inch in either direction.
- Sucking - finger or paci

I didn't like the Shushing aspect of it. If I'm in the middle of a temper tantrum and you "shhhhhhhhhh" louder than me 3 centimeters from my ear in 5 sec increments, I'm going to shut up too. Then I'm going to get pissed. Apparently that's not babies reaction though. My blood flow and heart beat make for a very loud environment for 9 (10, liars) months.

The swinging/jiggling is the only "S" I have experience with. When working in daycare you can have 4 infants (6w-6m) by yourself. It is impossible to hold/cuddle/calm that many babies. So we were taught to shake cribs. WHAT?!? Zomg! You can't shake a crib!!!! Relax! Again more of a jiggle. Side to side in quick small movements. Just enough to get the baby to rock slightly side to side. It worked and well. Proven in the fact that they all napped at the same time, everyday.

As for the video itself, it's poor quality. Only very slightly better than a home movie. At this point I feel it could have been better for the $20.00 spent on it. I reserve the right to think it's worth it's weight in gold should it work for our baby.

While the quality is bad it's a convincing video. Every single one of those fussy babies stopped and started to doze off with in seconds of applying some of the "S's". While I'm not sure of it being "fool proof" I am most certainly going to use the methods explained in hopes of transitioning Riley into the world a bit happier.

Sure it all sounds so common sense. It's likely that we would have done the "S's" just by instinct. That's what you do with a fussy baby, jiggle, sush and paci them. I liked seeing it. I liked the how to on swaddling. I liked seeing it work over and over. I will recommend it mostly because it made me feel better and that there are steps we can actively follow instead of winging it. I dont like winging.

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