10 Ways to Promote Baby Bliss
These simple tips will help take the guesswork out of calming and soothing your newborn.
Infant massage has not only been proven to calm newborns, it’s also a wonderful bonding experience between parent and child. The act of massage is relaxing, but it can also alleviate issues that may be making Baby cry in the first place, like gently pushing out gas, regulating digestion, reducing colon spasms and promoting endorphin output which is a natural way to ease pain. Keep the room warm, place your child on a comfy surface and start the massage from the feet upwards.
Bounce It Out
Baby became so accustomed to your daily movement while he or she was in the womb that gentle bouncing can recreate that feeling and be very soothing. Repurpose that large exercise ball that you formerly used to tighten your abs as a tool to bounce and calm your crying baby. Find the most relaxing position for you to hold your newborn, whether in the football hold or vertically so that his head rests on your shoulder, and start with light bouncing. Increase the speed and strength of the bouncing depending on your baby’s needs.
Swaddle Your Sweetie
If you’ve ever noticed your newborn abruptly jerk his arm while he’s resting or sleeping, only to have the subtle but startling movement send him into tears, this is what’s known as the Moro reflex and can catch your baby off guard. Swaddling is a warm and fuzzy way to keep this natural impulse under control and keep your cuddler calm.
Sing Out Loud
Whether or not you”re a karaoke superstar, your little one won’t care – she’ll just enjoy hearing mommy or daddy sing. You can opt to croon a classic cradle song or belt out your own lullaby rendition of a Top 40 hit, either way the tune is sure to become a favorite between you and your child. And if the idea of singing, even for an audience of one, really makes you uncomfortable, humming can also offer soothing benefits.
Bath Time Bliss
Baths offer a warm and calming distraction for a crying baby. Tiny splashes can help focus her attention away from whatever is ailing her. Remember to monitor the temperature of the water – Baby”s sensitive skin can burn easily but the bath won”t be as pacifying if it isn’t warm enough. Test the temperature by dipping the inside of your wrist in the water to see if it’s too hot. The skin on your wrist is thin and sensitive, making it the closest match to that of your baby.
Introduce White Noise
In the womb, babies were surrounded by a humming noise coupled with mom’s heartbeat. For this very reason lots of parents opt to use sound machines or some form of white noise, like that produced by a vacuum cleaner, hair dryer or fan to calm and remind their little ones of that peaceful time. If there’s one noise in particular that seems to help ease your baby’s troubles, record it so that you can play it continuously when he or she is fussy or trying to sleep.
Don't Be Shy...Pacify!
There are very different philosophies on whether or not to offer up a pacifier to babies, but if you’re comfortable enough with the idea, give it a try. Sometimes simply the act of sucking can calm an infant instantly, which is reason enough to give the age-old item a chance in our book. Giving your child this option doesn’t mean that they will become tied to their binky for the long haul, but it can provide temporary relief.
Check the Basics
There are many reasons why a baby cries. The top three are that your sweetie is hungry, needs a diaper change or is holding onto gas. Start with changing his diaper and if the crying persists, move on to offering Baby the breast or bottle. If your newborn is still inconsolable, the next logical problem could be gas. Try burping Baby or gently rubbing his back to relieve that menacing gas bubble.
Take a Stroll
A little fresh air can do wonders for both you and your baby. Exploring the outside world is a fantastic way to distract your infant from their fussy behavior and watching their amazement at everyday sights is a wonderful way to connect with your bundle. An additional benefit is the exercise that will give your body a charge of endorphins that will do wonders for your mood. The calmer you can stay as a parent when the going gets rough, the easier it will be for your baby to share your peace of mind.
S Marks the Spot
Dr. Harvey Karp, acclaimed author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, has had a lot of success soothing tiny ones with what he calls “The Five S’s,” which include swaddling and sucking (on a pacifier, finger or the breast). Other “S”s include supervised sleep on the side or stomach (while Baby sleeps at night unattended he should continue to remain on his back), shushing sounds close to his ear and swinging or rhythmic movement. Combine all of these tactics or use them individually.