Tips and Tricks to Calm a Fussy Baby
A crying baby can be extremely frustrating, especially when you feel like you have tried everything to calm them. Sometimes your baby just won't stop crying, and you are left feeling helpless. If you have tried feeding your baby and they have a dry diaper, you can experiment with these calming tricks below. The key here is to mimic as much of the womb-life as possible for the first few months.
Swaddle: Swaddling helps babies feel snug, just like they were in the womb. Ensure that their arms are wrapped tight by their sides and the legs and hips loose. Remember to stop swaddling when you see signs of your baby rolling over.
Shh sounds: When your baby is being super loud, shh shh sounds are soothing, as babies are used to hearing whooshing sounds in the womb. You can even make these sounds happen with a white noise machine that has various soothing sounds. Because newborns can get overstimulated very easily, sometimes silence and darkness are best.
Side or stomach position: Although your baby should be sleeping on their back for safety reasons, it is ok to put a baby on their stomach or their side for soothing purposes while you are in sight.
·Since life inside of mama was constantly soothing and in motion, swings are a great soothing tool. Ensure that you are in sight with your baby in the swing or transfer them to another safe space if they happen to fall asleep. When your baby is really upset, faster motions are ideal. If you don’t want to bounce while walking around, bouncing on a yoga ball is perfect.
Offer a soother or your breast for a soother but be aware of overfeeding. Your baby may also use their fist or thumb which is great.
Try patting your baby’s bum if they are extra fussy. You can do this while swinging, up and down motion or rocking your baby side to side.
Wear your baby using a wrap. This helps your baby to feel calm while you do things around the house and can be more mobile. This is especially okay during the newborn phase and don’t worry about bad habits at this point.
Stroke your baby’s eyebrows/ face when they are fussy. You can also use your entire hand to stroke gently down their face, which is wonderful because it encourages your baby to close their eyes. I used to do this in my 10+ years working in child care, even with the toddlers and sometimes the pre-schoolers. If their pacifier keeps falling out, you can try holding it in their mouth while stroking their eyebrows.
Put on some low, relaxing baby music during those fussy periods.
Give your baby a relaxing massage by applying light pressure to simply ease the tension on their body. You can massage their hands, feet, belly, and legs.
Run some warm water through your baby’s hair or bathe them during fussy periods.
Go on a car ride.
Hold your baby on your chest, skin-to-skin with an added blanket on top of their back and you as well.
Ensure that your baby is getting enough fresh air, especially when they are going through a fussy period.
Don’t be afraid to stop and give things a break. Trying too many things at once can over-stimulate a baby. As long as your baby is safe and loved, try not to get too overwhelmed with the crying. If your baby is just fussing, it is okay to leave them to see what will happen. Definitely tend to them if they are crying, but fussing is ok.
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