Three Ways To Calm A Fussy BabyBaby
Why is my baby crying? This is an all-too-familiar question for many new parents. Babies often fuss or get restless, especially in the evening, despite our best efforts to keep them dry and fed and happy. You already know to make sure their little tummy is full, their diaper is clean, and to rule out any medical issues, so here are three of our time-tested ways to calm a crying baby.
Wrapping up a newborn does a lot more than just make them look like a cute burrito: it actually helps recreate the tight, warm, snug feeling they experienced in the womb. It makes them feel more secure to not be able to flail their limbs about! It's also a good way to keep them womb-temperature, especially during a southern Alberta winter. Getting a good swaddle that won't unravel after the first five minutes takes some practice. Our postpartum doulas can teach you, and you can also brush up on your skills by practicing along with a YouTube video.
A new baby is used to the constant swish of fluids, mom's heartbeat, and the muffled voices and sounds of the outside world. Wouldn't you be a little disturbed to suddenly be surrounded by quiet, too? You can calm down a fussy baby by making rhythmic shushing noises as you pat or rock them. Try a gentle “shhhhhhh....shhh.....shhhhhhh” pattern and watch how their little eyelids get heavy. A sound machine or white noise app can be very helpful during sleepy time as well. And if you're a little old-school? Our grandmas used to swear by the vacuum cleaner.
Again, how did the baby live before being born? In its own personal baby bouncer. You walked, jogged, slept, drove, danced, and did yoga, and so did your baby. Rocking, bouncing, and firm bottom-patting all help soothe a restless baby, but swaying is one of the best. You can try using different “holds” on your baby: cradle-style, burp-over-the-shoulder style, or holding the baby tummy-down over your forearm with your other arm keeping them secure (great position to relieve gas!). Gently sway baby back and forth while also doing the shushing and they're sure to calm down soon.
So, what's the ultimate takeaway from these tips? Recreate the womb for your newborn! Give them the snug feeling by swaddling, make a little rhythmic noise, and keep them in gentle motion. This combination of three elements is the basic formula for calming a crying baby—make it your own by singing, rocking, driving in the car, or whatever works for you and your little one.
Loree Siermachesky works as a multi-certified labour and postpartum doula, certified Lamaze childbirth educator, certified breastfeeding counselor, certified placenta encapsulation specialist and a certified car seat technician in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. She has had the honour of attending over 1400 births in the last 20 years. She is well-known and greatly respected by the medical providers in Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Brooks, Taber, and Calgary. She cares deeply for this profession and even more for her clientele, honoring them in whatever method of birth they choose, or helping them transition to new parenthood as they wish.