Friday, November 21, 2008

Calming A Fussy Baby

During our "Taking Care of Your Newborn Class," the instructor had all attendees go around the room and state something we would do to calm our baby when they fussed. There were eleven couples, so twenty-two attendees, and twenty-two suggestions, 15-17 of which were variations on hold-them-against-my-chest/shoulder-and-pat/rub-their-back. My suggestion was singing to him (not surprisingly), which continues to be one of the first things I turn to when I want to turn this:
into this:
When Harry fusses, as he does sometimes, here are some of the things he likes the most (in addition to meeting his basic needs -- fed, clean diaper, neither too warm nor cold, being burped, being held):
  • Being sung to -- his current favorite is Amazing Grace
  • The swing, especially the side-to-side motion
  • Swaying while being patted on the bottom -- even better if you can find a way to hold the pacifier in while you do it
  • Going outside -- he loves the fresh air; a car ride or a stroll are added bonuses
  • Stroking his duck blanket (one of the blankets with an animal head -- soft on one side, silky on the other)
  • A change of scenery -- especially a trip to the living room. Sometimes that's enough; other times, we need to keep moving
  • A change of position, especially to an outward-facing position
What other suggestions do people have, both for me and for anyone else reading here?


Loren said...

Running water! lifesaver. Also showing baby theirself in the mirror, wearing them in a sling, and dancing.
Harry is ADORABLE.

Jen said...

I always found that if I sat down and relaxed while holding fussy babies and then did some rather vigorous patting, it usually did the trick. Or turn the dryer on and stick him on top. :)

Sam said...

ha ha - it sounds as though you need more than one pair of hands!!! (holding the pacifier in as well!?!?)

I read something the other day where someone suggested saying SHHHH into the baby's ear - as loud as they were crying - apparently it works!! (never seen it in action though!)

Katie said...

He is precious! Isn't it fun to start learning how to calm them? And it only gets better - and easier!

My absolute ultimate trick with Will is to put him in the forward facing Baby B.jorn and stick the binky in his mouth (it is held in place, because he face is up against my chest) and then either blow dry my hair or vacuum. I swear, I have the best hair and cleanest carpets right now!

And to echo Sam's comment above: the shhing in the hear really works. If you do that and pat their bottoms at the same time, it seems to work miracles. That's from the Happiest Baby on the Block - the FIVE S's. Sway, Swaddle, Shh, Swing, and I forgot the fifth!

Noemi said...

Thank you for commenting on my blog, I appreciate the encouragement.

Nicky said...

I'm with Katie -- the Five S's from Happiest Baby are a lifesaver! (From her list: Sway and Swing are the same 'S', so there are actually two missing: Suck and Side-lying.)

I use a lot of the techniques already mentioned, so I'll just add Baby Sling. On fussy days, I couldn't live without it. LL screams bloody murder when I first put him in it, but once he's in it (and with a pacifier in his mouth), he's almost always silent within 30 seconds, or the time it takes me to bounce up and down a few times. It's magic. I imagine that any sling would work, but I love my Peanut Shell pouch sling.

emilythehopeless said...

ack! so cute!!!


Lisa said...

The running water faucet works for me. And also the twins love me singing the Brady Bunch Theme song.

zandor said...

I don't have any suggestions, but he is adorable

Cara said...

What an attentive mommy! I sing all the time too...always have. I'm not a bad singer, but even still my kids (now nearly 4 and 6) ask me to stop...oh well.


Mama Bear said...

hi is amazing!!!!

Stephanie, Phil, Kayla, Logan & Alex said...

I used to put my kids bouncy seats in the bathroom while I took a shower and that always seemed to calm them. That and put them on top of the dryer in their carseat. I swear by that one.

Here from ICLW