A “million” ways to soothe your infant…NOT!

Some days, I feel like there is nothing new under the sun! Do you ever feel that way?

In my 35+ years of practice as a maternal child nurse and reading as much as I do about parenting, this saying keeps resonating in my head…. “what is old is new again”.

We have made so many medical advances and now know how the brain lights up, as seen in a PET scan during moments of happiness, anger, and anxiety. The mind-body-spirit connection has finally been validated.

How does this and how should this affect the parenting of our children, beginning when they are in utero? The soothing of a fetus and newborn is of particular interest to me.

Just when I was convinced that I was in love with Dr. Harvey Karp‘s books “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and “The Happiest Toddler on the Block”  and his way of calming a crying newborn during the “fourth trimester”, a critical piece appeared on my Facebook page.

I  started to question my love of the Dr. Karp’s  5s’s. My feelings are an echo of what many new moms are feeling…who should moms believe? What philosophy of parenting works?

The “CALMS WAY” is just one of those soothing methods that jumped out of my computer a couple of weeks ago when I was reading a critical review of Dr. Karp’s 5s’s. I am still partial to Dr. Karp but I would try adding “self understanding and self calming to the 5s’s .

Parenting with Love is online magazine which supports the CALMS WAY…it is yet another site that can support new moms or add to their dilemma as to what to choose as their “Dr. Spock” or “Dr. T. Berry Brazelton” of 2012.

Moms, what do you think about the information age and all the parenting advice that is available?

How do you choose what to read and what methods to try?

How do you or how did you soothe your infant in the 4th trimester?

Are you overwhelmed with parenting philosophies?

Suggested reading:

One thought on “A “million” ways to soothe your infant…NOT!

  1. Hi Lorette, I am responding to the Harvey Karp debate. My understanding is that babies cry for two reasons (a) to alert us to a need in the present — hungry, wet,
    in pain, need more holding, etc. and (b) as a way to release and heal from stress (just like adults cry when they are upset, because it’s how we heal from hurts).

    Though he may have all the best intentions in the world, Harvey Karp stops that second kind of crying from happening. That means the baby has to “stuff” their feelings, which can lead to a whole lot of problems later in life. I think if a baby is crying to release stress, heal from birth trauma, or whatever, the kindest way we can help is this…

    Hold the baby gently and establish eye contact. Tell the baby gently that we understand they are upset, but that we are there for them and are listening. Rather than jiggle the baby (which distracts the baby from doing the crying they need to) we hold the baby still and listen respectfully to what they are telling us.

    They will cry only as long and as hard as they need to to release that stress or trauma memory (often birth trauma, or separation from mother after birth, etc.) Then they stop and are very peaceful. They usually sleep better too if we don’t make them stuff their feelings, but allow them to get them out.

    I know that parents often find it hard to tell the difference between the two kinds of crying at the beginning. Also if we were not allowed to cry out our own baby hurts. we may find it hard to listen to a baby crying, because all the hurts we were made to stuff down, get triggered. So it’s often helpful to let moms start releasing their own unexpressed baby tears in a therapeutic situation. As they shift, their ability to be there for their babies increases and babies sense it, and respond.

    I’d love your comments! 🙂

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