Thursday, May 28, 2009

Works for Us!!

As I have mentioned, The Girl has a fussy time every night.  It is usually from about 6:00pm until around 11:00pm.  It isn't horrible...  I wouldn't call her colicky or anything, but basically she wants to be held.  If she isn't being held, she is usually fussing and then all out crying.  My mom and step dad are still coming over every night and having dinner here so that has been my saving grace.  If they weren't doing that, it would be rough.

Even so, they usually leave by around 7:30 and I have to get The Boy into bed and deal with The Girl until I go to bed for the evening.  Most nights The Girl is crying as I brush teeth and read books and sing songs with The Boy.  I refuse to alter his night time routine so if she has to fuss a little while The Boy gets his Mommy time before bed, so be it.

I was complaining about this to a friend who reminded me about The 5 S's.  I vaguely remembered about it from when The Boy was little so I went out and bought the book yesterday.  The book I am talking about is "Happiest Baby on the Block" by Harvey Karp.

**Here is where I post my disclaimer:  There are SO many different parenting books out there and each and every baby is different.  So while one might work great for one person, it could be a horrible thing for another.  So please understand that I am only expressing what works for my baby and am not judging anyone who think this book is a crock of shit, or who simply knows that another book is better...

Anyway, I refreshed myself briefly with this book and remembered why I liked it so much.  Then last night as I was bouncing around a fussy baby and wishing I could put her down so that I could fold a load of laundry and write a thank you note...I remembered the book and gave it a shot.  I won't go into loads of detail here, but the idea is that for babies under 3 months old, they are most comfortable when you imitate how they felt when they were in your womb.  The Five S's are:
  • Swaddling
  • Sucking
  • Side/Stomach laying
  • Shushing
  • Swinging/swaying
I have done all of these things individually to some degree of success with her over the past 5 weeks.  But this book reminds you to combine as many of these as possible for success.  At about 9:45pm I decided to try it.  First thing I did was swaddle her (I did this for the first couple of weeks when she came home and then it became apparent she HATED when her arms were restrained so we sorta gave it up).  Then I picked her up and held her in my arms while making sure she was on her side.  Then I started swaying and rocking her back and forth.  Finally I gently "shushed" in her ear.  (I left out the sucking part because frankly, she didn't need it, and really she isn't a big fan of the pacifier at this point).

I am not exaggerating when I say that she quieted down immediately and within 2 minutes her eyes were droopy and within 5 minutes she was asleep.  Seriously.  She had been fussing since around 6:30 and within 5 minutes was calm and asleep.  Of course I made sure she was full (she ate from about 9:00 until like 9:20) and her diaper was changed before I did any of this.  But I didn't even put her into her jammies because I was convinced she would be up again to eat around 11:00 and her jammies were in that load of laundry I was trying to fold...

But seriously.  Worked like a god damn charm.  Amazing.  After the first five minutes I sat down in the rocking chair and rocked her while continuing to "shush" her.  After about 10 minutes I took her back to her room, put her in her swing and turned on her white noise machine and left the room, shutting the door behind me.  That was around 10:00pm.

I went to sleep at like 10:30pm and did not hear her until 2:30am!!  Holy crap!  I fed her from like 2:30am until 3:00am and put her in her jammies (that I had been able to fold...hooray!!), swaddled her back up, put her back in her swing and turned back on the white noise machine.  She didn't make a peep until 6:00am.

This book rules.  It makes perfect sense when you take the time to read it and understand the concept behind doing these things, but I love it.  For those of you out there with little ones, or ones on the way (C, I'm talking to you...GET THIS BOOK...or I will get it for you).  Give it a shot.  Like I said, it may not work perfectly for every single baby, but it worked great over here!

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