There are six techniques that have been proven effective to sooth a baby’s mood, as follows:
Wrap the baby tightly in a blanket, with or without hands free for sucking (sucking its hand may calm the baby in itself). Sometimes the compact feeling is comforting, rather like the womb. The sensation of flailing arms and legs may be like being lost in space.
To swaddle, put the baby’s head on one corner of the blanket. Wrap one corner over the baby and insert it under the baby’s opposite side. Take the end up and tuck it under the baby’s “open” side. Wrap the remaining corner of the blanket over the baby and tuck it into a fold anywhere. (You might ask the nurses to instruct you this before you depart the hospital.)
A tape of comforting lullabies or unique soothing womb-like sounds and heartbeats can be purchased in baby departments, baby specialty stores, some toy stores and baby catalogs. Your own singing is cheaper and may work just as well. Don’t overlook trying the radio.
This might not appear all that different from “music,” depending on your singing voice. But “noise” means what’s sometimes called “white noise,” that steady drone of something that might annoy adults, but magically lulls babies to sleep.
Switch the vacuum cleaner on near the baby (or put the baby in a front-pack carrier while you vacuum). The vibration and consistent noise comforts many babies. The hum of the exhaust fan over the kitchen stove regularly works. A noisy room fan or air conditioner could have the same result.
Combine noise with other techniques, such as swaddling. Or turn on a noisy fan while rocking a swaddled baby. A car ride might help, and you don’t need to take the muffler off. Just the vibration and hum is sometimes sufficient.
Whole books, videos and classes are offered on this subject, and many parents find babies react to gentle massage of arms, legs, chest, back and head. Even without formal guidance, try rubbing backs or stomachs, which may alleviate gas pains, while holding the baby or while baby (or you and the baby together) are in the bathtub (remember that babies whose umbilical cords haven’t fallen off yet shouldn’t take tub baths).
How were fussy children raised just a generation ago, when those wind-up swings weren’t yet invented? Lots of car rides, apparently. Swings can be used by babies younger than a month old, either in a cradle or a seat. Especially for the cradle, be sure the baby is not rolling back and forth with every swing. For the seat, verify to see the head is held upright and cradled by a rolled towel or special support pillow. And use the safety belt.
Be informed that babies who like quiet, soft lights and lullabies may not like motion as a calming technique. For others, only bouncing and rhythm is effective.
Try feeding a bottle of warm water, placing the baby tummy-down on a hot water bottle filled with warm water and covered with a towel or baby blanket, or giving the baby a warm bath, if baby is old enough for a tub bath. (Never use an electric heating pad.) Of course, if it’s 90 degrees and humid, opt for a cool sponge bath instead.
I hope that you found all of this interesting and helpful. The internet is full of helpful tips and tricks and I appreciate you coming and visiting.