Many babies need 2 or more of the 5S’s to settle a big upset. Mums from the !Kung culture in Africa use a mix of tight holding, rocking, nursing and repeating, “Uhn-uhn, uhn, uhn,” over and over. In Tanzania, mums soothe crying by cuddling their babies while pretending to grind corn (vigorously bending and straightening and humming a rough noise). And in the UK, parents drive around their neighbourhoods – hitting every pothole and speed bump they can find – soothing their baby’s upset with the loud rumble of the motor and lots of jiggly jolts.

Of course, when your baby fusses you should first check to make sure he is not hungry, wet, or lonely. (Even if he just finished feeding, try offering a little more to eat.)

If feeding, holding, and skin-to-skin contact do not seem to be working, the 5 S’s usually do the trick. But if they do not help, here are some other things to consider:

  1. Does your baby have a little problem? Is your child getting too little milk, or perhaps too much? Is she struggling to make a poo? Fortunately, little problems like these are usually obvious and easy to resolve.
  2. Does your baby have a bigger problem? 5-10% of colicky babies have a medical cause of their crying, such as food intolerance, urinary infection, or stomach acid reflux.
  3. Are you doing the 5 S’s correctly? If the S’s do not work, 9 times out of 10 it is either because your frantic baby needs a couple more S’s or because you need to spiff up your technique a little. So, double check that you are doing the S’s exactly right by watching the DVD.

If you have tried everything, and the fussing continues, you will want to talk to your healthcare provider.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.