“She’s a completely different baby. Before, it didn’t matter who picked her up or what was going on, she was just going to cry,” – Brian Sullivan, a father
Brian Sullivan thought he knew what the first days with his new daughter Maggie would be like.
“I had wonderful images of this amazing quiet baby coming home, going to bed when we put her to bed,” he says.
But Maggie, now two months old, had colic. Brian remembers how difficult those first few weeks were.
“Nothing would work,” he says. “She would cry and cry and cry and you get to your wit’s end.”
Dr. Harvey Karp, professor of pediatrics at UCLA School of Medicine, has been researching colic for 20 years and knows how it can affect a family.
“Colic is tough on a family. I mean, it’s hard to hear your baby cry, but sometimes it can drive you to exhaustion, depression, marital problems and even child abuse,” Karp says.
But Karp has developed a five-step method that has helped many families. His method mimics the environment of the uterus.
Dr. Karp explains, “They’re called the 5 S’s.”
The first “s” is swaddling, which is tight wrapping. The second is the side or stomach position. The back is the best position for sleeping, but the side or the stomach is the best for calming a baby. The third is shushing. You shush as loud as the baby is crying. The fourth is swinging, or a jiggly motion. The fifth “s” is sucking.
Brian Sullivan says the 5 S’s worked for Maggie.
“She’s a completely different baby. Before, it didn’t matter who picked her up or what was going on, she was just going to cry.”
Dr. Karp’s research shows that only three percent of colic cases have anything to do with digestion. The rest just need a little help calming down like Maggie.
“I can understand now why people have children. For the first two weeks, it was one of the biggest mistakes I thought we’d made in our life. But now I understand. She’s just gorgeous,” says Sullivan.
Written by Karen Savage, Kids-MD Producer