By Jennifer Chung, Kinsights.com
New moms can feel overwhelmed when it comes to calming down a fussy newborn. There are many things that can cause a baby to be discontented and it is often a tenuous time of trial and error when it comes to getting him settled down. Babies feed off of mom’s emotions so the first step to helping diffuse his discomfort is to stay calm. The next time you feel frazzled; try one of these eight tips:
Get plenty of sleep – Sleep deprivation can make our tempers short and make our patience level shrink. Ask your partner to take some of the middle of the night feedings so you can get a full night’s rest.
Try to relax – Take deep cleansing breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth to expel negative energy. Hold your baby close so he feels the rise and fall of your chest. The baby’s natural response will be to match your breathing pattern. As you feel your baby relax, your anxiety level will dissipate.
Positive self-talk – Create a mantra to silently repeat it to yourself to remind yourself that you are in control. Use positive words like, “I am strong, I am calm.” Try until you find words that really resonate with you. Repeating this phrase will help you feel centered.
Use visualization – Create a stress-free zone in your mind. Perhaps it’s a warm sunny day on the beach or a hike in the mountains. Finding a happy place to go to when your baby is fussy can help you cope in a more positive manner. Focus on the details of the environment such as the sights, smells and sounds.
Walk away – If you feel tense and at the point of breaking, put the baby in his crib and walk away. Close the door and walk down the hall. Put a pillow to your face and scream or do some jumping jacks to release the stress before your cork pops. Count to 10 before you go back to his room to pick him up.
Ask for help – You’re not the only person who has dealt with a baby who cries incessantly. Ask a seasoned mom for tips that worked for her. Knowing you have someone to talk to makes the situation more manageable.
Go for a drive – Driving can have a calming effect on you and your baby. Sometimes a change of routine will help you cope with a fussy baby. Play some calming music and focus on the road. Diverting your attention can help you relax and more able to calm your baby. The vibrations from the car can also help soothe a gassy baby.
Journal – Keep a journal of how you’re feeling and how your baby is reacting to you. Check for patterns in behavior and if you have concerns talk to your doctor.
One of the biggest challenges a new mom faces is figuring out how to get enough rest after coming home from the hospital, yet it is one of the best things a new mom can do for herself. Be proactive by making it a priority to get enough rest (nap when he naps), you will feel more equipped to soothe your fussy baby. Having tools in your toolbox like asking for help or walking away can also make you feel more empowered as you learn how to meet your baby’s needs.
About Jennifer Chung & Kinsights:
Jennifer Chung is a parenting expert and co-founder of Kinsights.com: part parent advice sharing community, part online health record. Kinsights provides parents with a safe place to seek answers to their questions while also helping them track their child’s health information. Organize your child’s growth and developmental milestones, immunizations, medications, allergies, and more. Connect with Kinsights at www.kinsights.com to learn more and sign-up! You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@kinsights).