Using cross-cultural techniques combined with his own research, Karp has developed the "five S's system" that initiates and maximizes the infant's own built-in calming reflex:
Swaddling– Tight swaddling provides the continuous touching and support the fetus experiences within the womb.
Side/stomach position– The infant is placed on his left side to assist in digestion, or on his stomach to provide reassuring support. "But never use the stomach position for putting your baby to sleep," cautions Karp. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is linked to stomach-down sleep positions. When a baby is in a stomach-down position do not leave them — even for a moment.
Shushing sounds— These imitate the continual whooshing sound made by the blood flowing through arteries near the womb.
Swinging– Newborns are used to the swinging motions within their mother's womb, so entering the gravity-driven world of the outside is like a sailor adapting to land after nine months at sea. "It's disorienting and unnatural," says Karp. Rocking, car rides, and other swinging movements all can help.
Sucking– "Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous system," notes Karp, "and triggers the calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within the brain."