All Night Cries

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
I have about a million other drafts started pertaining to Ava's first twelve days of life but with Justin coming home from deployment and both of us familiarizing ourselves as parents, blogging has been the last thing on my noggin. If I never write anything about parenting or newborns I want to put out the most helpful information I have utilized this past week. We had one night this week where Ava just screamed and cried for no apparent reason. I fed her ( cluster feeding) my husband changed her, we'd burped her, and still our little girl was screaming like there was something seriously wrong. Since she'd never done this before, I naturally thought I was doing something wrong. I became emotional and just cried while I try to soothe my baby. My husband laid Ava on his chest, just rubbing her back and that worked for like 2.5 seconds and she returned to loud cries. I don't think I've ever been so sleep deprived in my life, but somehow we made it through the night, and the next morning Ava was content and back to herself. Well last night I started reading one of the parenting books I'd gotten while I was pregnant. 

This book is golden ! There is a lot of useful information on ways to calm baby when they are crying. I don't want to give too much of this national bestseller away, So I will just share what method Justin and I have used with Ava that has led us to nights free from my poor baby wailing. The method is called The 5 "S's" 

  1. Swaddling
  2. Side/Stomach
  3. Shhhhing
  4. Swinging
  5. Sucking
I know it's an odd list, but man is it effective. Let's take last night for example. It was about 945 ish and Ava had already shown signs that we were in for a fussy baby night. The first thing I did was swaddle her (I haven't swaddled her since her first week of life, because I thought she was over it) Fussy young babies lack the coordination to control their arms flailing so when their arms are unwrapped they make themselves even more upset. Thus, why swaddling is perfect and keeps baby from kicking and throwing their arms all around. I didn't want to lay Ava down, so the second thing I did was start " Shhhhhhing" like a lullaby. Apparently this sound is music to a newborn's ears. It mimics the sound of blood flowing through your arteries and that sound surrounds baby every moment during pregnancy. Once she settled a bit, I started slowly swinging her in my arms, just back and forth. She wasn't making a peep at this point, but in order to maximize absolute tranquility I gave her "icing on the cake" I let her nurse. Sucking has it's effect deep in baby's nervous system. It releases natural chemicals within their brain, which leads in minutes to total relaxation. Three out of five of these steps activate the calming reflex in a baby. With the five "S's" Ava had two crying fits, each lasting less than 10 minutes, and I was able to easily get her to go back to sleep. It's now almost 5 a.m. and I'm up writing this because I can't believe this worked for us ! My husband is fast asleep and so is my daughter. This book is a must read for parents, especially new parents ! I am no fan of the Cry It Out Method and I finally found a tool that allows me to stick to my parenting style.

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