Your baby is fussy, and you’ve tried everything you can think of.
Nothing works, and you’re exhausted.
So, how do you soothe your fussy baby?
Babies can often be soothed by gentle movements, such as bouncing or rocking. An easy way to generate some gentle movement is to use a baby carrier, and move around with your baby. A simple walk around your home for a little while might be sufficient. 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 machines or free white noise apps, not to mention fans and shushing noises that can disrupt baby’s fussiness long enough to look at you, and find out what is going on. 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!
If, however, you cannot be bothered with apps or noise machines – try a hair dryer. It doesn’t even need to be your dryer. Check out this YouTube video below. It is 6 hours of hair drying. If that sounds crazy or weird to you, this video has been viewed over 152 000 times, at the time of this writing. That means, other parents have found it very useful.
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.
Expert Advice: How to Calm a Fussy Baby
I’ve saved the best for last! Check out this video from Dr Hamilton.
Thanks for reading this post about “how to soothe fussy baby”. Hopefully this advice will soothe your baby, and give you the sleep you crave.
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