Maybe you’re one of those people who loved to babysit and is confident in baby-care basics. Or, maybe you’re not. Nearing the end of my first pregnancy, I was eager to meet my baby, but not entirely sure I’d know how to “do” everything. I’d had little experience with babies, especially young babies. I’d never swaddled an infant. When I held other children, I tried not to panic when they’d start to cry. My husband had never even changed a diaper.
Sure, I’d read baby books, read all about sleep habits and had several breastfeeding books on hand. But when I heard about colicky babies, I just prayed that mine would be easy. It’s a biological fact that the human baby’s cry is supposed to strike a nerve so that you’ll DO something to help. But what if I didn’t know what to do? I mean, what do you do if they’re fed and changed and they’re still crying?
My midwife had a lending library, so I checked out the DVD version of “The Happiest Baby on the Block”, which I’d heard a bit about. Well, on evening November 5th I went into labor. We’d notified my midwife, but things were going slow and it was already the end of the day, so I was to rest if possible. Yeah right, rest during labor. So, what do you do when your pain level is an annoying 3-4 (on a scale of 1-10), and you’re supposed to rest? Watch that video you’ve been putting off!
My husband and I watched the entire video while my contractions came and went. We really payed attention, realizing that we’d be able to use Dr. Karp’s tips in the next few hours! It was an excellent choice, if a bit last minute. In “The Happiest Baby on the Block”, the pediatrician shares the Five S’s for quickly calming a fussy baby. I can remember them now, even 4 years later: Swaddling, Side or Stomach Position, Shushing, Swinging, Sucking. With detailed instructions and many real-life fussing baby examples, Dr. Karp shows you have to switch on a baby’s natural “calming reflex” to soothe a baby in moments.
I gained some real, practical tools and loads of confidence from watching that video. And, the tips worked, as we found out when our daughter was born the next day. My husband went from clueless to equipped. He ended up being a very hands-on parent, not the “what do I do?” Dad that looks-on helplessly. In fact, Brandon is still a better swaddler than I! I definitely recommend the video “The Happiest Baby on the Block” (available at Amazon or your local library) if you’re new to babies. Seeing what to do makes all the difference!