Close up of unrecognizable young mother with her newborn baby son in sling at home

The Brief Guide That Makes Newborn Care a Simple Process

Having a baby is life-changing. We don’t need to tell you that. You’ve heard about how wonderful it is, how much your life will change, and how you can’t even imagine how much you’ll love your new addition.

And all that is true. However, far fewer people will acknowledge how scary it is when you leave the hospital with a brand new baby as a first-time parent. You’re terrified to mess up and need some actual newborn care tips.

Don’t worry – we’ve got you. These tips come from the book The Happiest Baby on the Block, which is founded in research and taught in college human development courses.

A Note on These Tips

There are hundreds if not thousands of parenting books and theories. This is one with many followers, but it may not be the right one for you. All you can do is try.

Other newborn care and parenting theories include:

  • Sleep Training
  • Using a sleep consultant
  • Gentle Parenting
  • Attachment Parenting

If you want to research the theories above, books are available from your local library, on audible, and even discussed on parenting podcasts.

The Five S’s of Newborn Care

Dr. Harvey Karp popularized, if not coined the idea of a “4th trimester”. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be pregnant any longer! The term refers to his philosophy that the more you recreate the womb for your infant after their birth, the happier they’ll be.

You can do that in one of five ways. You can (and should!) combine the tips below.

The First S Stands for Swaddle

You’ve heard of swaddle blankets and probably got some at your baby shower. Since the womb is very small and your baby is used to being confined, Dr. Karp believes swaddling them recreates that feeling.

There are many different swaddle blanket types – be sure to only use them in the specific months they’re sold in and then transition to sleep sacks.

S Number Two: Sound

People are very careful to be quiet when babies are sleeping, but the inside of your body is very loud. It’s said to be louder than running a vacuum cleaner.

To recreate this, use a sound machine – especially one that has womb sounds.

The Third S: Side or Stomach

This S is only for holding the baby – never place a sleeping baby on its stomach. Holding your baby on its side or in the football hold is a great way to calm them. Be sure to always support their head.

S Number Four: Swing

Imagine what it’s like to be bouncing around in a water balloon while strapped to someones’ stomach. Your baby is used to a good amount of motion.

Don’t be shy when you’re swaying with your baby in your arms, as long as you’re comfortable.

The Fifth S: Suck

When your baby is learning to nurse, using a pacifier is encouraged. Pacifiers can help children transition to bottles and increase their success if you’re switching or supplementing with formula.

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Newborn Care: There’s No One Right Answer

The method above is one of many different techniques for keeping babies calm and happy. Most parents end up sampling newborn care methods from other theories and using them in different combinations to fit their needs best.

That’s what we recommend – try everything until you find what’s right and sample from as many theories as you need to.

You’re already doing great for caring enough to read this article. For more lifestyle tips, make our site your homepage.