Small babies tend to cry lots and sleep little, many parents feel overwhelmed and exhausted, struggling to work out why their baby is crying and desperately trying to understand how to calm them.
Your baby cant tell you he is hungry, or his nappy is dirty, or even that he just wants a cuddle. So instead, he cries, hoping that you will be able to figure it out. Once you have ruled out the usual suspects (hunger, tired, nappy), there are plenty of other reasons for your baby to be unsettled and upset. Some babies are just more sensitive to noises or smells, and some have periods of fussiness in the first few months, perhaps because they have an immature neurological system.
Here are some ways to calm your baby – and make both of you feel better.
Your baby might be overstimulated. Turn off the lights, keep things quiet and remove distracting toys and mobiles for a while.
There’s a huge sensory difference between your snug womb and the big world outside. Swaddling your baby in a blanket will help her feel safe and secure and could have the calming effect you are both craving.
Your baby could be suffering from wind related discomfort. Try bicycling her legs while she’s lying on her back or lay her on stomach across your knees and gently rub her back.
Warm water can have a very soothing effect. Try bathing her, or even have a shower with her; some babies love the feeling of gentle water droplets.
A change of scenery and a bit of movement could make the world of difference. Hold her in your arms and rock her gently or take a walk outside with baby in a sling.
Many mums will try and avoid soothers but they don’t get the name off the wall. In between feeds, sucking on a soother can teach your little one some much needed self-soothing skills.
While your baby was in your womb she had the constant and comforting sound of your heartbeat for company. Total silence can be very disconcerting for a newborn. White noise, radio static and even the hum of a hoover can help soothe her.
Prime your baby for sleep with a calming bedtime routine. Start with a bath, turn the lights down low and have a cuddle during her last feed. Put her down just before she falls asleep so that she gets used to falling asleep by herself.
Baby massage is not just a fad or passing trend, it is an incredibly useful tool in your baby soothing arsenal.
If nothing is working and you find yourself feeling frustrated and anxious, put her in her cot and leave the room for a couple of minutes to calm down. Sometimes your baby can sense your anxiety and this can just make things worse.
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