Best Ways to Calm a Fussy Newborn
It's an infamous occurrence for new moms – your baby isn't quite what you expected!
Maybe your newborn was a perfectly calm and easy baby who slept 5 hours straight every night. Or maybe like so many other new moms, your newborn is fussy and has difficulty sleeping through the night.
Relax, mama — you're not alone, it's completely normal so don't feel bad. There are ways to help calm a new addition to the family–no need to feel helpless!
Just after you've given birth, your baby may seem as if he or she will never sleep. It can be a frustrating time, especially if you're recovering from a long and difficult labor.
But don't despair: Here are some of the ways to help you (and your baby) cope with the demands of newborn life:
As a new mom, you must be patient when calming a fussy newborn. This can be one of the hardest things to do when your baby cries and you have no idea what's wrong or how to fix it.
The first thing to remember is that as a new mom, you must be patient. Newborn babies don't come with an instruction manual. Each baby has its own parenting methods, and simply being around other babies does not make one an expert on parenting techniques. So just be patient when calming a fussy newborn.
You need to be patient and try everything in your list to calm down your baby, till he/she falls asleep. Yes, babies are crying for a reason, they are crying because they are hungry, uncomfortable and so on. But all babies cry differently so do not judge your baby by others. You need to learn your baby's way of crying and try to find out why they are crying or what they need.
Keep them in a consistent schedule
A fussy baby can be a parent's worst nightmare. A newborn cries for all sorts of reasons — hunger, fussiness, tiredness, and diaper discomfort, to name just a few. However, there are techniques you can use to calm a crying baby and allow the little one to get back to sleeping or feeding.
Baby schedules help newborns feel more secure. Newborns have trouble dealing with new situations, so it is important for them to feel like life is predictable. This comes from having a consistent routine. When you put your baby down for naps and bedtime every day at the same time, he will learn that he will get fed at this time every day. This can go a long way toward helping your baby sleep better.
Babies aren't born knowing how to sleep. They have to be taught. But once they're trained, good sleep habits can last for years.
There are many techniques for getting your baby to sleep, but the most important thing is to develop a schedule and stick with it, even if that means putting your baby down at uncomfortable times.
Also, When you calm a fussy newborn baby, it's best to keep a consistent routine for feedings. As long as your baby is getting enough milk, feeding on demand is the best way to go because it keeps your baby on a schedule. When you feed your child at the same time every day, they learn when they're hungry and how much they need to eat.
Keep them rested
Calm a fussy newborn baby is the most important thing to do, especially if you have a new baby. One of the most common reasons babies are fussy is due to overstimulation. This can happen if babies are overstimulated by too many people, lights and noises.
Explain what you need to do during this time and ask for help from others. This will allow your baby to get extra rest. Organize your house so that your baby can have some quiet time as well as activity time. Some parents find it helpful to put their babies in a swing or stroller so they can move around and be entertained by their surroundings while still giving them some rest.
Keeping your newborn rested is important for mom and baby. If you're breastfeeding, the baby may be waking more often for feedings. If you're bottle-feeding, the baby may be waking up at night to eat. This is normal and frequent night waking is part of what's called "settling time," when babies need more frequent feedings to gain weight.
Trouble settling at night can also be a sign of overstimulation — keep lights low in your house after dinner and give your baby minimal stimulation (no TV or other technology) before bedtime.
Make sure the newborn’s room is comfortable.
The main thing is to make sure the newborn's room is comfortable. Keep in mind that a newborn sleeps most of the time, so if you have other children, you may want to put them in the same room as the newborn. That way, they can relax and get used to one another when they're not awake.
The room temperature should be comfortable for an adult, but keep it about 10 degrees cooler. You can use a programmable thermostat or a fan, or both, to keep the room at the ideal temperature.
The best position for sleep is on his back with his head straight and flat on the mattress. This means that he shouldn't have pillows under his head or prop up against anything. It's also important that he doesn't overheat while sleeping.
If he's crying because he's hungry, try putting some food in your mouth (yuck!) so that he can hear it and then feeding him as soon as he settles down. If possible, try to feed him as soon as you notice him waking up. Make sure that he's latched on correctly and taking enough milk before you put him down again.
Swaddle the baby
If your baby is fussy, swaddling may be just the trick to calm them down and help them fall asleep. Swaddling a newborn can be especially effective if you are having trouble getting your baby to sleep. It will also help a fussy baby stay asleep throughout the night. The calming effect of being wrapped up like a burrito gives babies a sense of security and comfort.
The key to swaddling is to make sure your baby's legs are in tight and not flailing around. If they get loose, they could end up wrapping their arms around their face and might startle themselves awake. To keep them tight, you can use various methods such as wrapping the blanket around their legs twice or tucking an extra corner under their bottom.
My daughter was born two weeks late. My husband and I had come to the hospital expecting a one-day stay, but our baby wasn't ready to join the world, so we settled in for three days of bed rest.
After three days of no sleep, my husband and baby were both cranky and exhausted. Her crying was relentless and heart-wrenching. The nurses told us that she'd be fine if we just "swaddled" her, so we tried it. Within 30 seconds she calmed down and fell asleep!
Make sure the baby isn't hungry or dehydrated—cranky babies come from these causes
Newborns eat every two to three hours during the day and up to every three to four hours at night — and they can't tell you they're hungry. If your newborn cries suddenly and frequently, suspect hunger. The best thing you can do to soothe a hungry newborn is, feed him right away.
A baby who isn't producing enough saliva can develop a dry mouth, which leads to fussiness. The dehydration might be due to hot weather or a stuffy nose, or it could be a sign of illness. But if your baby has been crying for an hour or more with little or no pause, he may have a problem that's easy to fix.
Newborns can go longer without feeding than mothers expect. A newborn younger than 3 days old who hasn't urinated in several hours is probably dehydrated. At this point, you'll have to decide whether the comfort of knowing what's causing the fussiness is worth waking him up and possibly disrupting his sleep cycle later. Either way, try these tips before giving up on sleep:
Give him water. If your doctor says it's OK, give your baby an ounce of plain water every 20 minutes or so until he quiets down and your breasts feel softer and fuller (signs that you're making more milk). If he won't drink from a bottle or sippy cup, wipe his mouth with a damp washcloth when you offer him a sip of water.
Take a break away from the baby for 10 minutes
During the early days, the baby's care is a full-time job. Don't feel guilty about taking a break for yourself now and again.
Walk around the block, make a cup of tea, do an errand, or just sit in the park for 10 minutes. Just be sure to leave the house with someone who knows how to care for your baby. Agree on a call-me-if-anything-goes-wrong plan before you leave the house.
Side/stomach and swing
Lay your baby on her side or tummy. Babies like to look around at things from different angles and this position helps calm them down.
Swinging soothes many babies because it mimics the feeling of being in the womb. This is another position that can help relieve gas and colic as well as overstimulation because it provides a gentle rocking motion.
Also, speak softly to your baby when she's crying, even if you don't know why she's fussing (it could be from something very minor). Soft talking can be soothing and help calm a fussy newborn down faster!
Never skip feed times
The first three months are the most critical in a baby's life. This is when the child can develop habits that will stick with them for their whole life. Unfortunately, this is also the time when the baby is going to be most fussy and difficult to handle.
The first thing to do when you want to calm your baby down is feed him/her. It is important not to skip any feed times no matter how hungry or uncomfortable you feel.
It is also recommended that you try and calm your baby as soon as possible after they wake up from sleeping. The longer they are awake, the more frustrated they will become making it harder for you to soothe them.
Once you have fed your child and tried to calm them, it is advised that you take them into a quiet room where there are no distractions and talk in soft tones to help soothe them. You can also try humming or singing a lullaby to help relax them further.
If all else fails, consider taking your child for a short walk in an attempt to tire them out before attempting any other methods of soothing.