Die 5S-Methode: Schlafen wie im Mutterleib

The 5S method: Sleep like you would in the womb

Some sleep aids such as rocking, the pacifier or the famous hairdryer are well known and just as popular because of their effectiveness. But what is actually behind it? Why do these tricks work so well? Sleep consultant Caroline Helming has developed the 5S method according to Dr. Harvey Karp takes a closer look and shares her practical experiences.

Table of contents:
  1. The 5S method according to Dr. Harvey Karp
    1. Swaddle
    2. Side-prone position
    3. Shh sounds or white noise
    4. Rocking/movement
    5. Suck
  2. My experience as a mother & sleep consultant with the 5S method
  3. But: Every child is unique

1. The 5S method (according to Dr. Harvey Karp)

Dr. Harvey Karp, one of America's most renowned pediatricians and expert on (early) child development, has examined the topic in more detail. According to his theory, our babies are born 3 months “too early”. Some children seem to have more problems with this than others. And the theory goes that babies who cry for more than 3 hours a day have a particularly bad time coping with the transition from the womb to our world. They sometimes cry for a long time and excessively - which is why they are colloquially referred to as “cry babies”. To put it simply, they would have needed some more time in the womb.

Dr. Harvey Karp paid closer attention to these babies and developed the 5S method. In short, this is about simulating the womb for the little ones for a little longer. This is done using the so-called 5S method:

  1. Swaddle (wrapping) – that means creating a spatial boundary, for example swaddling
  2. Side -stomach position – when calming down on the arm to suppress the so-called Moro reflex
  3. Sch sounds or white noise – sounds like those in the womb simulate the heart and blood vessels
  4. Rocking / movement – ​​rhythmic shaking in screaming children, a child in the womb is shaken quite a bit
  5. Sucking – oral calming through e.g. the pacifier – a calming reflex

If the 5S method is used simultaneously and correctly, it is extremely helpful if you have difficulty falling asleep. Little by little, the individual “S” can then be “dismantled” again in order to avoid sleep associations, i.e. dependency.

The complete instructions for this technique and more detailed information about the background can be found in his book The happiest baby in the world read in more detail.

2. My experience as a mother & sleep consultant with the 5S method

Whether or not there is truth to his premature birth theory is not necessarily important. There are certainly a number of other factors that play a role in why some children cry more than others. Among other things, overstimulation caused by overtiredness is at the forefront.

However, the 5S method is undeniably extremely effective.

I myself had a “cry baby” and helped him calm down very quickly using the 5S method in combination with my holistic methodology (age-appropriate waking times, suitable sleep routine, etc.).

But the method can also help babies who don't cry too much to sleep better. In my opinion, the combination of limitation, white noise and movement is worth its weight in gold, at least in the first few months of life.

That's why I'm a big fan of swaddling newborns. The Wombis are the perfect continuation, they allow a smooth transition away from swaddling, which you shouldn't use for too long. Due to the spatial limitation, especially around the arms, the little ones usually find it easier to sleep and can also stay there better. “Annoying” Moro reflexes, through which the little ones repeatedly wake themselves up, are curbed. And the feeling of tightness gives them security and cozy warmth, just like in the womb.

3. But: Every child is unique

Despite all the theory, for me there is only one truth about baby sleep: every child is individual and unique. Depending on Scheme F, no method will be applicable to every little citizen of the world. That's exactly what makes my job as a sleep consultant so interesting, every case is different, new and unique. Nevertheless, the 5S are of course extremely proven and it doesn't hurt to try them out. Who knows? Maybe your child will sleep better simply because, for example, they are limited in space. Trust your intuition, you will feel what feels good for your child and yourself. And it is precisely this intuition that will also tell you that no child deserves to be left alone screaming!


Guest post by Caroline Helming from Baby Sleep Coachcaro :
Instagram: caroline.helming

Website: https://www.caroline-helming.de