by Jenny Tuten
One of the largest stressors for new parents is learning ways to calm a fussy infant. Although it may take a few trial rounds, with practice and a lot of patience you will find out what works best for you and your baby.
The calmer you are, the easier it will be to use consoling techniques to calm your fussy infant.
First Things First
- Is it time for your baby to eat?
- Does your baby need changed or burped?
- Is it getting close to naptime?
- Is their diaper or clothing tighter than usual?
- Run through a short checklist in your head when your infant becomes fussy. Take care of the most pressing items first. As time goes, you will be able to recognize what the tone of your child’s cries mean and will be able to pick up on what your infant is trying to tell you. If you feel you’ve run out of options for what may be wrong, try the following consoling techniques.
- Swaddling your baby in a thin blanket can help console fussy infants.
- In the womb your baby was held securely in the amniotic sac, like being wrapped in it’s own personal blanket. This can bring security and comfort to your baby.
Holding Your Baby
- Holding your baby on their left side can help with digestion issues, or on their stomach to give your baby extra support.
- Softly rubbing your baby’s back can soothe fussy infants.
- Once your baby falls asleep, remember to lay your baby down on their back.
Rhythmic noises and motions can soothe a fussy infant.
- Walking your baby, rocking, and soft swaying all can be calming motions.
- These motions are similar to those the baby felt while in the womb.
- Gentle rhythmic noises may also help with consoling your infant.
- Your Pediatrician can direct you towards a feeding schedule that is appropriate for your baby and their age.
- Feeding your baby too much at once can cause stomach discomfort, which will lead to a fussy infant.
- If your baby is very fussy after feedings, try feeding smaller amounts more frequently and burping your baby more often throughout their feeding.
- Breastfed babies may have food sensitivity’s to something the mother is ingesting that can cause fussiness.
- Cutting down on milk products and caffeine can sometimes improve baby’s tolerance to breast milk.
- If your baby is formula fed, it may be time to consider a different formula.
- If this does not help, slowly introduce foods back to your diet as usual.
- Talk to your Pediatrician before switching formulas, as switching too often can make the problem worse.
Take A Deep Breath
- Try not to take your infant’s cries personally. All babies cry and often there is no apparent reason.
- It’s an adjustment phase for them as it is for you.
- The calmer you are, the easier it will be to use consoling techniques.
- If you are feeling stressed, it’s ok to gently lay your baby in a safe place and position and take a 10 or 15 minute break from your crying child if you are having trouble consoling.
- Sometimes a baby’s cry is simply a release of built up energy for them.
- Always ask for help from trusted friends or family members when the crying is taking its toll on you. Sometimes an hour to get out of the house, or take a long shower is just the ticket to feel refreshed.
*If you feel that your fussy infant is inconsolable after several hours, or it is a new behavior for your infant, call your pediatrician’s office to find out if further action needs to be taken in the care of your baby. Consider checking your infant’s temperature. If it is over 100.4 contact your infant’s provider. *