✨The 4th Trimester✨
"What do you mean there's another trimester after pregnancy?! I thought I was done!"
Technically yes, there are only three trimesters (hence 'tri-') during pregnancy. But what if I were to tell you there is another one that we should take into consideration, which can help us have a better understanding about the first few months of life?
Dr. Harvey Karp, author of "The Happiest Baby on the Block", has a theory that human babies are born 3 months early, as the head needs to be able to fit through the birth canal.
This theory does have some merit behind it when you think about newborn humans versus newborn animals. Let's think about a baby deer that was just born. Within a matter of hours, it has already practiced and learned how to walk in order to survive. Humans are so helpless when we are born. In order for us to survive those first few hours, we are completely dependent on another human to feed us, change us, bathe us, and even move us around.
This has led to the theory that we are born 3 months early since we are so dependent on others for our survival. That is why the first three months of life are also referred to as the 4th trimester. During the 4th trimester, babies are in need of their familiar womblike surroundings. Once we are familiar with the 4th trimester and understand the level of dependency for our sweet babies, we are more able to mimic the womb and help comfort and soothe them.
How many do I use?
I want to stress that a baby's basic needs must always be met before sleep is attempted. This means a full belly, clean diaper, and proper hygiene. The key is to use at least 3 of these calming techniques TOGETHER. When you combine at least 3 of these techniques, your baby is more likely to calm down, and faster. These comfort techniques are used in combination to mimic the womb.
Swaddling mimics the womb by keeping the baby's arms and legs up against their body. It also helps babies feel safe and secure.
Hold your baby on his side or stomach to help soothe him, but not while he is sleeping.
You can make a calm shush noise (shhhhhhh), or you can use a white noise.
While holding your swaddled baby on his side/stomach, swing/sway back and forth.
Your baby can suck on a pacifier, a clean finger, or a bottle/while nursing. Sucking is very calming for a baby, as he goes into a state of tranquility.
You will have to play around to see which combinations best help to soothe your baby. Once you have found that golden combination, do it every time before sleep. My two year old's favorite combination still works for her today, minus the swaddling!
Babies are smarter than we give them credit for. They smell fear, and mimic confidence!
I am available to help your family get the sleep they deserve. I encourage you to follow me on Instagram for more tips and tricks! Schedule your free 15 minute call to be one step closer to accomplishing your sleep goals.
Wondering what other families have experienced after working with me? Read before + after stories HERE!