BabyCenter Featured Expert
posted in Parenting
By Cathy Hale
When your baby isn’t eating, sleeping, or being absolutely adorable, chances are she’s crying. If your newborn is already a few weeks old, you can probably decipher some of her cries and you’re mostly in tune with what she needs. However, if you’re a brand new parent with a brand new baby, crying fits may be rattling your nerves. Don’t worry, help is on the way!
A huge component of baby care during the first year of life is comforting your baby and keeping her safe as she grows and develops. But if she cries for long periods of time for seemingly no apparent reason, it can be very stressful. At some point, every parent has been in that exact situation. So when it happens to you, try one of these 7 most effective ways to ease newborn fussiness.
Burp that baby!
The one thing I learned quickly as a mom: there was always a burp or two in my baby’s immediate future. Even if I had burped him sufficiently, if he started fussing and squirming, I’d burp him again. That wasn’t always the cure to a crying fit, but it did help him work out gas bubbles and calm down.
Check the diaper
Even if you just changed her diaper, she may need a new one. Sometimes babies will surprise you with how quickly they can go — even if they just went! Also look for diaper rash, which could be making her uncomfortable.
This is something I hear from other moms all the time. They say when a fussy baby starts spiraling into a crying fit, they’d strip down to a tank top and make sure the baby could rest on their chest and feel their skin. The warmth, closeness, smell, touch, and familiar heartbeat could put your baby at ease.
Swaddles that soothe
Just like skin-to-skin contact may calm a fussy baby, swaddling can also calm a baby by giving her a feeling of physical security like she felt in utero. Remember, newborns don’t know how their limbs work, so they can easily scare themselves with their own arms and legs, especially when cries start to escalate.
Hit the road
A change of scenery can help ease a fussy baby, so you may take an impromptu car ride together. The smooth vibrations in the car seat and the hum of the car may work together to provide a soothing environment for a fussy baby. It may also do the trick if your fussy baby is over-tired, because babies notoriously doze off in the car.
Gripe water to the rescue
Products like gripe water, derived from ingredients like ginger seed extract and fennel seed extract, can provide immediate relief from tummy woes. Gripe Water can be administered up to 6 times in a 24-hour period and doses can be repeated after 30 minutes, which makes it ideal for feeding schedules.
You don’t need to be a certified masseuse to ease your baby’s fussiness or discomfort with a gentle “I Love You” tummy rub. Put your baby down on her back, then start rubbing her chest/tummy in a circular motion and mimic writing the letters “I,” “L” and “U” with two or three fingers across her belly. If your baby starts to relax and calm down, it could be that the gentle movement on her tummy is helping her pass trapped gas bubbles.
This post is sponsored by Little Remedies.
Cathy Hale is a nationally recognized writer, lifestyle blogger, autism advocate and proud mother of two. In 2008, she began navigating the wild world of motherhood as a mom blogger after her oldest son was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. Cathy’s candid perspective about raising a child on the autism spectrum garnered national interest. Cathy has contributed articles and appeared in lifestyle powerhouses like Babble, iVillage, Betty Confidential, SELF, HLN, Marie Claire, Parents and Parenting. Cathy grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and attended Virginia Commonwealth University where she graduated with a BA in English and a German minor. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family and writes about life in the Texas Hill Country for LakeTravisLifestyle.com.