Can the “Cuddle Cure” Quell Colic?

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be a terrific parent. Many infant-care books simply provide lists of calming tips – but that’s about as helpful as listing the ingredients of a recipe without giving the instructions for how to combine and cook them. Fortunately, there are some little tricks that can help you do your job better – and they work especially well if your poor little baby is dealing with colic.

The 5 techniques offered in The Happiest Baby book and DVD are often effective on their own for soothing a mildly fussy baby. And, in combination they are super-effective in switching on the calming reflex…even for newborns with colic. These steps, which I call “The 5 S’s,” are so useful at making unhappy babies feel cozy and calm that one of my patients dubbed it “The Cuddle Cure.”

If calming a baby were like a cake, each of the 5 “S’s” would be one of its layers. Here’s why:

Swaddling is the most important first step of calming (and the first layer in this comfort cake). I know some babies struggle when they first get wrapped, but don’t give up. It is much, much easier to soothe a baby (and keep her soothed) if she is snugly wrapped – arms down. Next is the Side/Stomach position. Then add a layer of “Shhhh,” followed immediately by Swinging. Then, last but not least, Sucking is the icing on the cake!

The final product is a very specific mix of tight wrapping, jiggly rocking, and loud shushing that provides the comforting stimulation that your little one is dreaming of. When parents who are dealing with colic tackle this issue using the “Cuddle Cure,” they’re astonished by the results. It’s my sincere hope that once this knowledge becomes common knowledge, colic will eventually be a something that’s found only in dictionaries.


5 Responses to “Can the “Cuddle Cure” Quell Colic?”

  1. shana sienna Says:

    people actually told me i would spoil my son by cuddling him too much but i’d show them dr karp’s advice and they’d all be amazed like i was. my son tyler is 3 now and the cuddle cure helped shape him into the well-behaved and sweet boy he is!

  2. crw556 Says:


  3. Jamie Says:

    Tried and tested.. this worked wonderfully on our son who is now 3 months. I look forward to watching the happiest toddler now.

    Our baby cried… quite loudly … but the 5s’ allowed us to calm him quickly
    He has never cried for more than 5 minutes

    Thankyou Dr Karp!

  4. Samantha Says:

    I have a 2 month old son and I used the 5’s since the day he was born and he is already starting to sleep 4-6 hrs. during the night… He only cries when needing something and he is such a happy baby so far…

  5. Dr_Karp Says:

    Hi Ammie,
    Your little boy is at the peak of the fussy period…so it can require a pretty energetic input to turn on the calming reflex during crying jags. And, some kids are more challenging to calm than others (the good news is that they usually grow up to be more sensitive and/or spirited and enthusiastic!).
    Have you watched the DVD? Does he wiggle out of the swaddle? Are you using a strong, rough white noise all night? Are you using the fully reclined swing on the fast speed as shown in the DVD?

    Dr. Karp

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