At birth, the cry of a newborn baby is what every parent wants to be able to hear. It’s the reassuring sound of being alive, healthy, and the beginning of a whole new adventure. As time passes by, the baby’s crying is not something to look forward to or necessarily hope to hear. There will be times when your baby will keep crying even after you have met all of the baby’s basic needs.
Many new moms might bet on the commonly talked about maternal instincts to kick in to help them know what to do when the baby cries inconsolably. Unfortunately, for most moms, these maternal instincts won’t magically appear overnight. Getting your baby to calm down and feel comfortable will take lots of practice and trying different soothing techniques to find what works best for your little ones.
Fortunately, we’ve taken the time to put together the 5 best ways to calm down your fussy baby, so you can get back to the peaceful sound of silence:
Check on the baby’s basic needs
Ensure that your baby is well nursed. Even if you nursed not too long ago, sometimes your baby will want to nurse for just a little while longer.
Don’t forget to burp the baby. After feeding make sure to burp your little one to relieve their tiny gas bubbles in their tummy.
Check for a diaper change. You will be surprised how many diapers your baby may go through. For newborns that could be up to 10 diapers daily during the first month!
Check if the baby is too hot or too cold. If it’s particularly cold, put the baby’s clothes and blankets in the dryer for a few minutes to warm them up before bundling your baby.
The 5 ‘S’ soothing technique
The first three months of a newborn baby’s life are characterized with fussiness for an average of 60 minutes daily. Some babies are however a little bit more irritable and will cry more and are said to be colicky. Baby Colic could begin when the little one is two weeks old, hit its climax at six weeks and come to an end when the baby is 3 months old. Baby colic is defined as inconsolable crying that goes on for three hours every day, three days weekly for three weeks continuously.
When your baby gets fussy for such a long period, you could easily get frustrated. However, if you make use of the 5 S technique in the right order, you will be able to calm your little one.
Swaddle – Swaddling has been used to soothe fussy babies throughout the history of time. Swaddling with a soft, warm blanket is meant to imitate the tight confines of the uterus that surrounded the baby till the day he or she was born. This doesn’t soothe the baby itself but allows for the other S techniques to work. Swaddling the baby prevents the baby from making erratic movements that could cause the baby to start crying once again. If you use a blanket, be sure that the baby is tightly swaddled to avoid accidents because of a loose blanket.
Swing – This motion can be achieved by rocking the baby while seated on a rocking chair, or by using a baby swing. The good baby bouncers will have electronic bouncing motions that mimic the motions of being inside of the womb.
Side Lay – You could do this by holding your little one on the side as though he or she is being breastfed. Holding your baby as he or she is lying on the side, brings about a calming effect.
Shush – The “shhh” sound will calm your baby as it mimics the whooshing sound that surrounded him for nine months in the womb. You could make the sound yourself or get an app or a cd that can play white noise for your baby. Also, be sure that the shushing sound is louder than your baby’s cry or else they will not hear it.
Sucking – After finishing all the other S techniques, let your baby suck on his or her finger or a pacifier.
Create Calming Bedtime Habits
When your baby does not get enough sleep, they will get more irritable and cry inconsolably. To ensure that both of you get a good night’s sleep, you can instill a good sleeping routine. For example, you could start by giving the baby a nice warm bath, then play some soothing music, feed the baby, then maintain silence in the room, and avoid engaging in activity with the baby. If the little one wakes up, feed him, or she then put them back to sleep. Getting into a routine will help the baby understand what to expect to enable the baby to sleep better at night.
Take a nature walk
Mother nature will work the magic for you. The whistling sounds of the wind and rustling leaves will distract the baby and stop the fussiness. If you don’t live in an area where you can take a proper walk, you can also try going on a drive.
Call in a favor
Very often friends and family will ask what you need them to do for you. Now is the time to ask for some help watching the baby as you take a break to calm your nerves. Research shows that an anxious mom has higher chances of having a colicky baby than a relaxed mom. Asking for help does not mean you are ineffective, it just shows that you are a smart woman who understands her needs very well and accepts assistance.
A fussy baby can definitely be a major problem in a mother’s life, especially if there are other children to take care of as well. The good news is that you can follow the above advice to give you some piece of mind and ensure that you have more energy to tackle the next day.