Some babies are interested in sucking only when they want to eat. For other babies sucking is like a massage, tranquilizer, and hot bath all rolled into one!
Here are stories of some babies who were “suckers for sucking”:
Annie and Michael were especially worried when their little boy screamed; Rylan’s heart problem made extreme exertion dangerous. So Ann carried him around the apartment for hours, until her back was in such pain that she couldn’t stand it any longer.
She resisted giving Rylan a pacifier because she “didn’t want to start teaching him bad habits that he would have trouble stopping later on.” Finally, however, driven to desperation, Ann reluctantly gave it a try and “Bingo! Giving Rylan the pacifier was a godsend! We still had to entertain him, but the binkie let me walk away and take a break, especially when he was in his vibrating seat.”
Stanley began to struggle with his feedings when he was seven weeks old. He had always begun his meals with gusto, but now after ten minutes he was pulling away and licking at the nipple as if he had forgotten how to eat. Seconds later he would arch back and wail as if he wanted to jump out of his mother’s arms. But that wasn’t what he wanted either, because as soon as Stanley was put down, he cried even harder.
Stanley’s parents, Maria and Bill, tried rocking and wrapping him, but when he was really agitated he could free his hands in seconds. Maria, confused and frustrated, wondered if her milk had turned bad or dried up.
Fortunately, the problem was much less complicated than that. Maria had plenty of milk—in fact, too much. When Stanley tried extra suckling for fun at the end of his feeding, Maria’s breasts continued releasing a stream of milk into his throat. Stanley had to pull away to avoid choking, but he was in a pickle because he still wanted to suck.
Once Maria and Bill began offering the pacifier at the end of his feedings, he became an angel again.
Steven and Kelly said their one-month-old bruiser, Ian, loved sucking on his paci. But if it fell out of his mouth he started to scream. Kelly lamented, “It works great, but we feel like we’re becoming his pacifier slaves. My mom joked that we should just tape it in his mouth. I knew that even kidding about that was terrible, but we were going out of our minds.”
When Steven and Kelly called, I taught them about “reverse psychology.” One week later Kelly called back, amazed at how quickly the paci problem was solved. Within a week lan’s mouth muscles were so well trained he could hold the pacifier for one to two hours without dropping it.
Kelly said, “It’s weird. I thought the best way to keep lan’s pacifier in his mouth was to keep pushing it back in. But what worked was to do exactly the opposite!”
Some babies will suck on anything you put in their mouths, but some are like miniature gourmets. Take Liam, who as a two-month-old refused to suck on anything—not pacifiers, not his fingers, not even a bottle, with one exception: He loved to suck on his mother’s second finger!
Some babies can be calmed with just one “S” but most need several “S’s” to settle well
The Cuddle Cure is the powerful combination of all 5 “S’s” at the same time
Two essential steps for perfecting the Cuddle Cure:
Precision—A review of the most important points of each of the “S’s”
Practice—Why you must practice to excel at the Cuddle
As you know by now, the most successful baby-calming techniques handed down for centuries are based on the 5 “S’s.” However, if you haven’t yet been successful at soothing your baby in minutes using the 5 “S’s,” don’t lose heart. You can still learn how to guide your unhappy baby from tears to baby bliss using these methods.