New moms can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can’t settle down. Babies have a sixth sense for mom’s emotions, if mom is feeling stressed out, baby will feel it too. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.
Swaddle – Hold your baby against neck or right on your chest, swaddle him snuggly in a blanket, and hum or softly sing lullabies. The sound of your voice coming through your chest mixed with your heartbeat is soothing because it replicates sounds similar to the womb.
Burp & Bounce – Some babies need a creative approach to burping or passing gas. Put on dance music and cha-cha around the room to help relieve gas or sit with your baby on your lap and gently bounce him up and down. The bouncing motion may free an air bubble trapped in his stomach and provide much needed relief.
Football Hold – If sitting doesn’t work, try the football hold (baby face down on your forearm) with a bouncy motion as you walk around the room can help baby relax and calm down.
Suckle – Some babies have a strong need to suckle even when they aren’t hungry. Offering a pacifier can help meet this need and help baby relax.
Rock – Some babies enjoy the rocking motion of a swing or rocking chair. Put on some soft music and add your baby’s favorite toy to help comfort her if she is feeling over stimulated.
Shower – Take a nice warm shower. Hold your baby next to your chest and let the warm water cascade over her head and back. The sound of the water will soothe even the fussiest baby.
Massage – Lay your baby on her tummy and gently massage her back. Use both hands and gently run your fingers up her spine and up around her shoulders, then down her sides. The slow methodical motion has a calming effect. If your baby prefers to see your face, sit with your baby in your arms facing you. Gently trace her face with your fingers while singing her favorite song. Rubbing your fingers around her temples and across her forehead, then around the cap of her skull can help her relax.
Walk – Put your baby in the stroller and go for a walk. The stimulation from being outside and the movement of the stroller can calm baby down.
Vibrate – Hold your baby close in a sling or a front carrier and vacuum. The vibrations from the vacuum can have a soothing effect on babies. A car ride can also help soothe a fussy baby. The motion of the car will help her fall asleep.
Redirect – Make a game out of doing the bicycle motion with baby’s legs. Being cheerful and redirecting his discomfort will help her relax.
New parents wish babies came with a “How-To” manual, but they don’t. It’s all just trial and error until we figure out our baby’s personalities and needs. Don’t get frustrated if the first several things you try don’t do the trick. Engage your spouse, relative or a friend to help when you get to your wits end. Creating a calm environment will be instrumental in soothing an irritable baby.
About Jennifer Chung & Kinsights:
Jennifer Chung is a parenting expert and co-founder of Kinsights.com: part parenting community, part online health record. Kinsights provides parents with a safe place to seek answers to their questions while also helping them track their child’s health information. Organize your child’s growth and developmental milestones, immunizations, medications, allergies, and more. Connect with Kinsights at https://kinsights.com to learn more and sign-up! You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@kinsights).
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