What Is the Calming Reflex?
For 1000's of years, moms and grandmas have intuitively known how to turn off their baby's crying. But the existence of a calming reflex was completely overlooked until I stumbled onto it in the mid-1990s while working with 100's of crying babies in my practice.
I was struck by the fact that rocking, shushing and all the well-known calming methods failed to work unless they were done exactly right. Similar to the knee reflex, triggered by a precise whack of a hammer, the calming reflex kicks in with very specific actions.
The soothing sensations in the womb (and close imitations out of the womb) trigger this reflex over and over again. This reset switch is truly a baby's (and parent's) best friend. Nature didn't create this blessed reflex to calm crying babies… I believe it evolved to soothe fussy fetuses!
Early in pregnancy, a fetus flips all around like an Olympic gymnast. But in the last 2 months, the womb gets tighter, and flipping creates a serious risk: your baby might end up in sideways or breech position. Until very recently, babies born breech often got stuck coming down the birth canal, usually causing the death of both the baby and the mother.
In fact, we all descend from Zen little fetuses who - during the last months of pregnancy – were almost hypnotized by the rhythmic sound and motion of the womb. It's possible that the very survival of our species was only possible because this ancient calming reflex kept our big-brained babies perfectly positioned head down as they waited to be born.
Now that you know what the calming reflex is, learn to trigger it with the 5S's method for soothing babies!