My daughter Brianna was a screamer. Unlike her older sister, she cried for the first six months of her life. She screamed when she was bored, when she was tired, when she was wet and when she was hungry. It wouldn’t take more than 5 seconds to switch from a sweet cherub to a hot mess. She would hit her arms, her back would curve, and her face would turn red. I tried my best to reassure her with hugs, changing diapers and breastfeeding – all to no avail. Result? I would end up in tears too. The feeling of being overwhelmed consumed me, and worse, I thought I was failing because of the mother’s basic job – the ability to make my child comfortable.
It can be frustrating, challenging, and downright frightening for new parents to see what every cry indicates. If they are unable to determine the reason immediately, they are so afraid that they begin to believe that their baby is not physically fit. The parents feel powerless because of their heartbroken little ones. This can be very stressful for women who felt controlled and competent in their lives before the mother. The good news is that you will eventually be better at responding to and interpreting your baby’s cries. Until then, follow the tips below to make sure your baby stays calm, since a baby is sure to cry when it is laid down.
Turn up the melodies
Don’t limit yourself to lullabies. Try out all the different songs and genres, including what you love.
This works because music, like movement, can calm the nervous system and lower a baby’s breathing and heart rate.
When my children were babies, I usually picked them up on the phone and let them listen later. I thought she was really fascinated by the sound of a crying baby.
This works because babies are sometimes so desperate that it is very difficult to calm them down even after the disruptive agent has been taken care of like a dirty diaper. They were literally in an endless cycle of crying. However, a surprising distraction like a voice recording of itself can pull the babies out of what initially annoyed them.
Do the shoosh bounce
Rock your Munchkin in a carrier and push it into your ear repeatedly. I put my little one in a noose and hurled it all over the block, the apartment and even the city. I cleaned and cooked as I swung them back and forth.
This works because when the baby is rocking or carrying, it triggers a calming reaction, which relaxes the muscles and slows the baby’s heart rate.
Change the landscape
I always felt when my fussy baby was under stress. So I realized that it was time to hand it over to my grandma or husband. If she couldn’t change the caregiver, she would move to a different environment. Sometimes it was enough to go from the children’s room to the kitchen or to the terrace to free them from crying.
This works because a new place to focus on maybe everything a baby needs to change his mood.
Make some noise
This is another trick parents swear by when they turn on white noise. Try a vacuum cleaner or fan, download an application, or use a device with white noise.
This works because sounds like this mimic what an infant hears when it is in the womb as the mother’s blood flows through the placenta.
Extinguish the lights
If my baby got overwrought, I put it in a completely dark room. It was the most effective way to calm her down. I often put down the blackout curtains and put them in the swings with a pacifier. The swings make them feel like they are swinging in our arms so that they are like a light outside in only about 5 minutes.
This is because it is very easy to overstimulate babies with all the lights and sounds of everyday life. After all, newborns are used to the dark, quiet boundaries of the womb. If you block any stimulation, you will finally be at peace.
The next time your baby cries when it is laid down, you will know what to do!
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