How to Calm a Fussy Baby? Part 2
1. Music, Movement, and Me: Rock your baby’s world. Remember for 9 months inside your womb, baby constantly had movement. Even when you slept – yes, there were tiny movements that the baby constantly felt. So, moving and rocking can actually instantly calm a baby. In India, we have this way of putting the baby on the lap and moving our thighs up and down. While this works for some, it does not work well for many babies. We often find that rocking side to side and swaying motions work better. Stand with your feet slightly more that hip width apart, keep baby close to you, and sway as slow, or as fast as your baby wants. It is magic. Music – this too is a life saver. If you play the same music or sing a certain song, that she heard while in your womb, she will likely calm down much easier!
2. Pressure on the belly: Lie her down on your knee, supporting her chin with your hand, while rubbing her back. Her belly should rest on your knee. The pressure of your knee on her belly soothes any belly discomfort that she may be feeling.
3. Skin to skin, cheek to cheek: Hold her upright. Her belly is on your shoulder. And you are now cheek to cheek with her. You talk to her calmly as you sway. Or hum gently. She feels your closeness and hears your voice and calms down.
4. Talking to your baby, like she is an adult in an adult voice: This is a big one. Most of us say “no, no baby, don’t cry”, or some such- in a very childish tone. Try asking her “What’s wrong baby? I know you are uncomfortable. What can I do to make you feel better” – the calming is amazing. Apparently, babies understand silly and stressed voices and get more stressed with all the tension in your voice. Versus the calm, adult voice seems to calm them down!
5. Shhhh .shhh. shhh: Three seems to be the magic number when is comes to singing/calming them with rhythm. Why? I am not sure I know. But, does it work? Absolutely. Try it out – “O-Oo-Ooo” or “IZ-IZz-IZzz” all seem to have the same calming effect. Pick your favourite rhythm, and while rocking her, see her fall asleep.
6. White noise: Works. The sound of a whirring fan, or an exhaust fan, an continuous hum.
7. Vibrations: Set her car seat on a washing machine. Of course stand close and guard her and ensure that she is safe. But the feeling of vibration gets her to sleep. Also, there are infant soft seats which have this vibration available, but you must ensure that she is not left unattended.
8. Go outside: Walk with your baby. Not only does it improve your mood, and give you some much needed exercise, it will also let her breathe fresh air, as well as serve as a distraction to calm her fussiness!
9. Car ride: An Life saver. Most babies will fall asleep on a quiet car drive.
10. Bath: Must in your arsenal. A bit of “I love you” massage, or even a quick whole body massage. Followed by a warm bath, traditionally on your legs, or letting her float in a bucket full of warm water with you holding her under her armpits and supporting her neck. You will literally see her muscles relax, and in about 10 minutes, she will actually fall asleep. Yes, you can do this, even at 3 am in the morning, when her crying seems to be uncontrollable. As long as you quickly dry her, swaddle her, feed her and get her to sleep. Watch this video titled: “I love you massage” or attend a good parent infant massage class like ours to learn the art and science of infant massage.