How to Soothe Your Baby

All babies cry, often because they have a difficult time getting used to all the new stimuli present in life outside of mom's body.

The Happiest Baby on the Block method developed by Dr Harvey Karp has been known to help turn on a baby's calming reflex during the first few months of life by mimicking experiences in the uterus. There are five simple steps to this method that are known as the 5 'S's.


Tight swaddling or wrapping provides the continuous touch and support that your baby experienced while in the womb.

Side/stomach position

Place your baby, while holding him or her, either on his or her left side to aid in digestion or on his or her stomach to provide support. Once your baby is asleep, you can place the baby in the crib, on his or her back.

Shushing sounds

"Shhhhhh" triggers your baby's calming reflex by imitating the continual whooshing sound made by the blood flowing through the arteries near the womb. You have to say it as loud as your baby's crying and close to his or her ear or he or she may not notice. A white noise machine or a recording of your hair dryer or vacuum cleaner can also mimic the noise.


Newborns are used to the swinging motions they felt when they were still in their mother's womb. Rhythmic movements imitate the sensations your baby felt inside your uterus, and activate the calming reflex. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements can all help.


Your breast, your finger, or, later (ideally after 3-4 weeks), a pacifier can be used.

Updated December 29, 2017

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