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How to calm your fussy baby

Have a crying, upset, or colicky baby? These 8 tips can help comfort and soothe your infant while keeping you calm and in control.

For your baby:

Rock, rock, rock.
Place baby in your arms, stand with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart, and swivel back and forth at the hips. Your movement can be fairly vigorous as long as you’re holding baby close. When you get tired, use the rocker. But be careful not to shake your baby.

Pro tip: you can also try to create a rhythimic motion of any kind. For example, take your baby for a ride in a stroller or car.

Swaddling
Wrap your baby in a blanket so they feel secure. Using a thin, lightweight blanket with his/her arms across their chest has an amazingly calming effect. Also, swaddled babies often sleep longer and more soundly.

Offer a pacifier

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), there’s nothing wrong with giving a newborn a pacifier. Some children have strong sucking needs and are quickly soothed by it. So, let your baby suck on something, such as a pacifier.

Try Shushing
Create “white noise” that drowns out other noises: run the vacuum cleaner, hair drier, fan or clothes drier.

For you

Remember that your baby has feelings. 

Babies are emotional beings and experience feelings of happiness, sadness, joy, and anger from the very first moment of life. Thinking of your baby as an individual with a unique personality may make it easier to interpret and respond to his or her cries.

Choose some techniques for taking a “time out.” 

When it gets overwhelming, try counting to ten, going outside, taking deep breaths, putting your baby down and walking around the house for a minute, to help you maintain a calm frame of mind.

Find a mantra. 

A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase, often said over and over again, to provide comfort and inspiration. With a crying baby, you may find yourself talking out loud anyway, and a mantra can help provide perspective, comfort, and energy to keep going. Some examples might be: “Just breathe,” “This is hard, but doable,” and “All will be well.”

Recruit dad to help

Enlist dad’s help as often as possible. A lot of mums say dad is king when it comes to soothing. Allow him soothe the baby, help with housework, meals, or babysitting. 

Finally mama, remember to allow yourself be present. It would be impossible to be fully present and attentive to an infant, especially a crying infant, 24 hours a day. Experts estimate that meeting your infant’s needs at least one third of the time is enough to support healthy bonding and secure attachment. Don’t worry about getting it exactly right all of the time. Instead, try to relax and enjoy the times when your baby isn’t crying.

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