There is no greater feeling a new mother can have than a smiling baby. Every new mother struggles with making their babies happy, because they cannot speak just yet. The first form of communication they have is crying, but parent are not able to always able to figure out what the baby wants at first. When I read “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Harvey Karp I was very intrigued. The step to making your baby happy was not only helpful, but simple as well. This book takes a psychological approach because it is so similar to the Erickson’s Trust vs. mistrust stage. I will begin by introducing the books theory, and then I will explain why it relates to Erickson’s trust vs. mistrust stage.
Relationship to Child Development (Emotional, Social, and/or Physical)
The method is called the five s’s which consist of the following; swaddling, side/stomach position, shush, swing, and sucking. These five steps make the baby feel like he/she is still in the mother’s womb. When babies are born they are not actually ready for the world, and should still be in the mother’s womb for a fourth trimester. The fourth trimester is from the age of birth, to eight teen months. Since we know that this is not possible, the babies first few months are known as the fourth trimester. During this time your baby is fully dependent on you, it is ok to constantly be there for them when they are crying. This helps the trust you and other caregivers. During this fourth trimester stage is when your baby will either learn to trust or mistrust you, it is crucial to teach your baby to trust you. This book will teach you how to help your baby trust you if you have a fussy baby using the five s’s method.
The first step to the method is swaddling. You start by laying the baby on their back on a blanket. Then wrapping the fussy baby with his/her hands inside the blanket making sure that they are loose, but not too loose. You also must make sure that you leave room at the bottom of the blanket so the baby can move his/her legs. This makes them feel like they are secure, just like they would be if they were still in the womb.
Proceeding to the next step, comes side/stomach position. For this position, you will lay the baby on his/her stomach/side on either in your arms, lap, or your shoulder. Make sure that their arms are to their side. Usually doctors will tell you to lay them on their back to reduce the risk of SIDS, but since your newborn wants to feel like they are in the womb again, it is ok to lay them on their side/stomach. Just make sure that you turn them to their back once they fall asleep.
For the third step, you will use shushing which you will use with the other steps such as swaddling, swinging, and jiggling. Babies do not need silence; they have been use to the mother’s sounds in the womb. It calms them to hear similar sounds such as shushing. When you do this, have your lips close to the baby’s ear and gently make the shushing sound. This simulates the sound of...