Babies cry. Its their thing. Sometimes as a parent, you can figure out why, other times, not so much. Lets say your baby is crying; she just fed, her diaper is clean, yet she is still upset. What do you do now?
- Swaddling: This is especially effective for newborns under 1 month of age. They love to be snug, the thought is that swaddling mimics the confined intrauterine environment that they have been hanging out in for 40 weeks, give or take. However, once your child gets a little bit older, they tend to like their space more.
- Sucking: Babies love sucking – not in the “you suck” kind of way, but more of the “ here suck on this” type of thing. Sucking on a pacifier, or mom’s breast is very soothing for infants. Many new parents think that the baby is hungry when anything goes near their mouth and they elicit the sucking reflex. But that’s exactly what it is, a reflex. Babies have a very strong suck reflex. It is basic survival mechanism. Try it at home, touch the cheek of your baby close to the corner of her mouth, and watch what happens. Most of the time, she will turn towards that side and pucker her lips ready to suck on something. If you’re child had a good meal, and she is still fussy, try to offer her a pacifier, see if it helps.
- Shushing( yes, I know its not a real word, but stay with me!): White noise! This is what newborns have been listening to during the entire pregnancy, its like their gestational soundtrack. You can recreate this by saying Shhhh loudly in baby’s ear – but please spare her the spit shower. Turning on a fan or vacuum cleaner would do the same. But lets not forget that in this day and age, there is an App. for that!
- Swinging: By gently rocking your baby, you are sure to help soothe her as well. You can be very gentle with this, you don’t need to go off the wall. Just gentle head bopping works well, like a rapper.
- Singing: Infants love the voices of their parents. So go ahead and sing your guts out, there are no judges here.
These recommendations are based on Dr. Karp’s Happiest Baby on the Block, and in my opinion, he provides good advice. Having said that, if your child is not responding to any of these soothing techniques, or you have a gut feeling that her cry is excessive and out of the norm, definitely talk to your pediatrician and get her checked out.
Have you had any luck with these techniques? What do you do to soothe your fussy baby?