Calming Fussy Babies ? Every parent hates it when their little one just won’t calm down, especially when you’ve already tried everything you can think of. Unfortunately, it’s pretty normal for babies to wake up during the night and need to be calmed down again. Here are a few tips that might help when you’ve exhausted your other options.
Babies can often be soothed by gentle movement, such as bouncing or rocking. An easy way to generate some gentle movement is to get out a baby carrier – Lucky’s assortment of slings are easy to put on at a moment’s notice – and simply walk around your home for a little while. The walking motion will help lull baby back to sleep. Baby swings, rocking in the car seat, a walk in the stroller, or even packing your little one up and taking them for a brief car ride can also do the trick. Moms looking to shed a little pregnancy weight can turn baby-soothing into low-impact exercise, by bouncing baby while sitting on an exercise ball or doing knee bends.
A little white noise can soothe adults and babies alike into a sound sleep. If your child is fussing and you’re running the laundry or dishwasher, the sounds of the cycles running might do the trick. There are also white noise generators or apps, not to mention fans (or humidifiers, depending on the season). Shushing noises right by baby’s ear might disrupt their fussing long enough to look at you, and make the rest of the task easier. Singing can also do the trick – there’s a reason lullabies have endured so long, and your child won’t know or care if your singing voice isn’t that great!
While something louder, like the vacuum cleaner or loud music, might seem like too much noise at first, keep in mind that the womb is a VERY loud place – sound travels faster through solid material, and developing fetuses are surrounded by all the noises their mom’s body makes. Loud noise just might do the trick, but be sure to mind the volume controls!
Sometimes, baby just wants to be close to one of their parents – a parent’s warmth, smell, and soothing voice help them adjust to this big, cold, scary world they’ve suddenly fund themselves in. Skin-to-skin contact works especially well with newborns, and gently massaging your little one can help soothe them too. Taking baby’s seat or swing into the bathroom while you shower, or standing out in the fresh air with them for a few minutes, can also help.
Swaddling to recreate the feeling of being surrounded by the womb might help; if your child resists, keep them moving and see if that calms them down. If it doesn’t, you can try the other extreme and take all their clothes off (even the diaper – use a towel to catch any possible surprises). Try holding baby in different positions, if one doesn’t seem to be working; they might have some trapped gas that’s making them uncomfortable.
The sucking motion that comes with nursing might help calm baby down; it’s one of the few ways newborns have to help keep themselves calm without your help. Whether this is giving them a pacifier to suck on or outright feeding them – some children might do better with shorter, more frequent meals anyway – it gives them something else to concentrate on instead of whatever it is that’s got them upset.
New parents, and even repeat parents with a fussier child, need to learn how to soothe their children by doing. Every baby is different, so follow your instincts, try several different things, and don’t give up. Sooner or later, you’ll find the perfect way to get your fussy little one back to a peaceful sleep.