As a mom of a toddler and an infant, I’ve done my share of shushing, singing and rocking. The typical baby spends at least 2-3 hours per day crying! That can get pretty overwhelming, so it’s important for new parents to arm themselves with methods to calm the chaos. Here are my fool-proof methods for helping to soothe a fussy baby.
Bounce, baby, bounce
This is my most tried and true method for getting any baby to sleep. When my first had colic, his pediatrician showed me a very particular bouncing method that works almost every time. I cradle my baby inward, face-first against my stomach and then rock from side-to-side, dipping down in the middle and bouncing up to the left and then to the right like a standing frog. It looks a little strange, but babies love the closeness and the familiar motion. Many babies also love the be carried in a sling or carrier.
Binky or bottle
Babies are born with a powerful urge to suck. This is what helps them take naturally to breast or formula feeding shortly after birth. That urge coupled with early teething can make for an uncomfortable baby. Offer them a binky or a bottle to satiate that sucking impulse.
After hearing familiar motherly sounds and household noises from the womb for nine months, the loud sounds of the real world can be a bit of a shock. Calm your baby with the familiarity of your own voice by singing and humming. Many babies like the patterned white noise sounds of the vacuum, dishwasher or clothes dryer as well.
Kill the lights
Overstimulation is often the cause of infant stress. Help them unwind in a relaxing atmosphere with dim lights. Turn the TV off, stereo down, phone away. A little one-on-one time in a calm environment will help your baby feel less bombarded with bright and exciting distractions.
Change of pace
Sometimes, babies just get bored of the same thing all the time. If you’ve spent a lot of time inside, go for a walk outside to give your wee one something new to focus on. If you’ve been out and about for awhile, go inside for some quiet time. Sometimes a change of atmosphere is all it takes to get babies settled down.
Babies love to stare at themselves in the mirror. Try pointing him or her at the bathroom mirror and watch as they explore their reflection in awe.
Are there any tried-and-true tactics that your family relies on? How do you calm a fussy baby?