Calming That Cranky Baby

Yesterday I mentioned that my initial tries at helping Jason and Laura soothe Mikayla and settle her to sleep were anything but successful.  No matter what I tried, it wasn’t working.  In the past, I’ve been pretty good at distracting children out of a funk but now that I think about it, I have to admit that these have been children who are toddlers and are easily captivated by someone who is super animated, a bit over-the-top, and who easily slips into the world of make-believe.  A six-week-old just wasn’t quite seeing the vision here.  The “Richard Simmons” approach just wasn’t working.  My grandmotherly morale was sinking faster than the thermometer outside.

That was when I decided to turn to Plan B.  Several weeks earlier, I had been mentioning to the members of our Sunday School class that my granddaughter was  having trouble sleeping for any length of time and seemed to be having problems with gas. Of course, one does need to keep in mind that there’s a reason that her Great-Grandma Loose is called “Grandma Toots.”  I’m not exactly ADMITTING the condition is hereditary, but there’s a strong possibility.  Anyway, after class, another new grandma came up to me and told me about a book that her daughter had purchased that she now raved about for calming babies.  It was called “The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer” by Harvey Karp.  My friend said that once her daughter started using the techniques in the book, her baby had begun to sleep for long periods during the night.  I was intrigued.

I went up on Amazon and read the reviews of the book and boy, were they positive.  That was all I needed.  I ordered the book, DVD, AND the CD with soothing sounds right on the spot.  So I had all three things here once the kids arrived.  After that first cranky night, my daughter-in-law suggested we watch the DVD and we all trooped downstairs to view it.  I had told them ahead of time that when I had briefly flipped through the book, I’d seen that one of the doctor’s recommendations was to swaddle your baby.

“Oh, Mikayla won’t go for that,” my son said.  “She hates to be swaddled.  If I try to cover up her arms, she starts to scream.”

Well, there we sat, watching the doctor in action in a room full of young mothers with their new babies.  And there were some corkers in that room who were anything but placid babes.  Yet, with each one, he would demonstrate his recommended techniques and they would calm down just like magic.  Before you knew it, their eyes would be closing and no more screaming!  Wow!  And the beauty of his methods are that they are simple, logical and easily followed.  And they work!  As the credits rolled, my son turned to his wife and said, “We’re trying this tonight.”

I’m here to tell you that Dr. Karp’s techniques worked on Mika.  We followed what he suggested and she calmed right down AND she slept.  It was nothing short of amazing.  I’m not going to write here what each of the steps are because that wouldn’t be fair to the author.   But I will say that if you or your adult child has a newborn baby who is cranky or seems to be colicky, buy his book or DVD.  The DVD will give you a quick enough demonstration of the techniques that you will be able to do them that same day.  The book goes into a deeper explanation of why the techniques work.  You can read the reviews of the CD to see if you might find it useful.  My kids are using it when they have Mika down sleeping.  This is one new grandmother who, along with Mika’s parents, says “Thank you, Dr. Karp, from the bottom of our hearts.

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