By K Ponder
The baby is crying. What might it be this time? Knowing your baby’s unique cries takes some getting used to. You will be fully versed in due time. However, below are twenty things you might consider when attempting to soothe a crying or fussy baby:
Hungry. Initially, you may want to keep a feeding schedule. Most pediatricians like to know what your baby’s feeding patterns are. Depending on your baby’s age, feeding needs will be different.
Tired or overly tired. When overly tired, sometimes the baby just needs to be left alone for a few minutes in the safety of a warm dark crib. You can try rocking to sleep using the Football Hold (Step 6) combined with a butt pat and a full belly.
Board. Change the scene a little. If you have been sitting on the couch too long, or on the computer too long, baby will be sure to let you know.
Gassy. (burps or toots) See #6 and #20. You can also set baby in their favorite “poo-sition” – that pose they always seem to be in when they poo.
Wanting a toy. It might be out of reach by just a few inches. Enough to cause some frustration.
Football Hold. (Hold baby cross your forearm and facing down). Combine this move with the butt pat and he’ll be out in no time.
Diaper pinching little sensitive spots. Be sure that all liners in the diapers are in the correct and smoothed positions. Babies get wedgies too! Also watch for velcro scratchiness on cloth diapers.
Clothing Issue. Too small/tight/ill fitting or scratchy clothing can be a nuisance for a baby who grows quickly. Check arm pits and other folds of skin for wrinkles and seams or stray tags.
Finger or Toe Nail issues. Groom regularly. Nails grow very fast on an infant. Often times, they will peel.
Teething. Teething is a whole other story. There are many things to do for teething. Give him something like a finger, a toy or a clean, wet baby washcloth to chew on. (Also, stay tuned for next month’s teething article!)
Feeling too warm or too cold. Temperature regulation is not a strong suit for a young baby. They often rely on the parent’s body to help maintain a proper body temperature. Be sure to check every so often to make sure baby is the right temperature.
Desire physical touch or to be held. The closeness is calming and safe for the infant.
Overstimulation. The womb was a warm, quiet place for the most part. Loud music, shrieks of laughter, bright lights etc. can cause baby to feel somewhat over stimulated.
Wax in Ears. Check for wax buildup in the ears. If you see it, ask your pediatrician the best way to remove it. In a pinch you can use your pinky nail to gently lift the surface wax from the outside part of the ear. Sometimes milk also dries behind the ear. Be sure to wash well behind those ears!
Something In eye. Especially if you have pets, check for hairs, fine lint or other particles in your baby’s eye.
Distraction. A favorite toy making sounds might do the trick. Babies are drawn to sounds and might look for the origin rather than fuss.
Walking and Bouncing. Parents have been doing this move for centuries!
Dance with your baby. They like the music and the beats. Dancing to classical music and spinning with baby should bring smiles. Or, if you are feeling particularly energized, you might dance for them instead.
Games. Games like peek-a-boo or asking ·what does a “fill in animal here” say?” are fun for baby. The animal questions get them thinking about sounds. When you make them, it is amusing.
Dirty Diaper. Dirty does not just mean poo. Check for the tee tee too! If you don’t see a poo, it doesn’t mean they are not working on one. For a baby the whole poo sensation is quite new and not always comfortable. You can hold baby face down across your forearm with your palm on their abdomen. This also encourages baby to expel gas.