The Happiest Baby... revisited.

Our first little one cried a lot every night for the first four months from 6-10pm.  Every night... like clockwork.  It was something we never knew could or would happen so we were taken by surprise.  My husband would prop himself up on the OmGym with her and swing for hours every day trying to "make her feel better."  Then a friend of ours gave us what he called "a miracle method" to helping babies stop crying- the "Happiest Baby on the Block" dvd.  Because, honestly, back then, we wanted her to stop crying.  We thought that was the solution to the crying- do WHATEVER was necessary to make the baby stop crying so we- and she- wouldn't feel so uncomfortable. The dvd consisted of 5 ways to make a baby stop crying:

1. Tight swaddling

2. Side or stomach positioning

3. Loud and continuous shushing sounds

4. Side to side movements

5. Forcing a pacifier into their mouths until they take it

Any desperate, first-time parents would fall into this trap just like we did.  In hindsight, I can't believe we tried any of this.  And I say "tried" because it never really worked.  I think maybe the shushing sound helped her once or twice (and we didn't do it as loudly as suggested, we did it softly into her ear and not for too long).  She didn't seem to appreciate or be soothed by any other method very much at all.  We look back and realize the first four months may very well have been that "fourth trimester" and she just needed to become comfortable with her new life.

After a couple of years of parenting under my belt, I can say that trying to stop a baby from crying isn't really the goal.  If you check them for pee or poop, if you feed them, if you provide comfort and if you make sure a label or snap on their clothing isn't pinching them and they're still crying, they probably just need to let something out and parents do perfectly well just being there for them.  Their crying doesn't always need to be stopped at all costs.  We all have bad days and cranky moments.  They are small people who deserve dignity and respect just like anyone else so we have to think about the way we treat them.  The attached link that inspired this post includes a critique of these methods and states "If you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to your baby. In fact, don’t do things to your babydo things with your baby.”

If you are a new parent or thinking about becoming a parent, you will surely come upon this dvd one day.  I would think twice before trying these methods but if you insist- and maybe it will work for you- really think about what it is you are doing.  All our babies really need is comfort from being nourished physically and emotionally.  A couple of years wiser, I am glad to have come upon this post and new perspective.  I may have been tempted to try this on my soon-to-be newborn and YIKES!  Parenthood is an ever-evolving process.  You keep growing and learning.  Growing and learning.

Why I’m Not a Fan of The “5 S” Method of Calming Crying Babies.