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Mothers have known for centuries that the way to calm a baby down is to imitate the qualities of being in the uterus. Only recently, however, it has been discovered that this works because of a calming reflex in the baby that responds to theses uterine imitations.
In the first three months of life, the baby is missing the sensations of being inside the womb and often gets upset over it. The baby misses the constant loud sounds, jiggling movements, and being snugly confined.
Human babies still have an immature nervous system when born. The first three months of a newborn's life should be considered a fourth trimester.
In many ways, newborns are unprepared for the world. Human babies are more like fetuses when they are born rather being prepared for the world right after birth like other mammals.
These calming techniques are based on three ideas: the fourth trimester concept, the calming reflex and the five S's.
These calming techniques have been used for centuries to soothe newborns.
Noah, a typically fussy baby, is calmed by Dr. Karp using several calming techniques. These techniques trigger a calming reflex in the baby.
Parents are often told that when a baby cries it is because of pain and indigestion, but very few babies cry because of actual pain. Although it is instinctual to want to soothe a crying baby, it is not instinctual as to how to do it. Baby calming is a learned skill.
Support groups for new mothers discuss the difficulties in trying to calm and soothe seemingly inconsolable newborns.
These new parents relate their frustration and desperation in trying to calm their constantly crying newborn.
Although he has been fed and burped, this baby is still fussy. He is coughs and grunts and this new mother is at a loss as to how to calm him.
For 30 years, pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp has been helping parents understand and care for their new babies.
"The Happiest Baby" DVD talks to real parents and offers real solutions to a baby's constant fussiness, crying and colic.
Dr. Karp demonstrates several calming techniques on a fussy baby.
This new mother expresses that she had no idea how difficult it would be dealing with her baby's constant crying.
New parents discuss the difficulties and challenges they have trying to calm and soothe their babies.