When my son was born, I hadn’t actually spent much time with babies. I also hadn’t read all the parenting books. Neither had Mike. Heath is our first baby experience.
We really were winging it.
I’d only burped a baby once and all of a sudden here was this little man. Our little bundle of joy. He was here in our arms and we had no idea what we were doing.
His birth was tough – check it out here! But actually at first this was okay as, in all honesty, he slept all the time. But then he didn’t then he cried and screamed. We had no idea what to do so we turned to family, friends and the all-knowing internet!
Here are a few of the things that worked for us!
How we Soothe our Baby
Swaddle. This was a game changer in the first few weeks. Wrapping our little bundle up helped stop him feeling overwhelmed and stopped his startle reflex. Keeping his little limbs in position enabled him to calm himself and eventually get to sleep.
Rocking and rolling was definitely our strategy. We danced our way through those long nights. Taking it in turns to walk backwards and forwards. Swaying our hips from side to side like we were undertaking some silent Macarena.
We danced for hours.
Whether it’s you, your phone or someone like Ewan, get that white noise going. Your baby has been used to hearing the whooshing of your blood pumping round and the gurgling of your stomach. Albeit a little muffled.
Now your baby is outside and the sounds they can hear can be quite unsettling. Add a little white noise and it could be what they need to drift off.
An obvious one but always worth a go. Oh and another go. Sometimes babies don’t know what they want. If your baby still isn’t settling try offering them a little munch again.
Sometimes Heath would eat on the 3rd or 4th time I offered!
Babies haven’t actually had to eat until now. Yes they’ve swallowed amniotic fluid. Grim. But they haven’t actually eaten.
Even the tiniest bit of air can hurt their tiny little stomachs. Making sure to wind them can really help to ease things. You can do this by rubbing or patting their back when:
- when they are sat up
- against your shoulder
- laid across your lap
- in the superman position (belly to arm, head in palm)
Check the nappy. Whether its poo or pee your baby might just want out.
I’m sure for a little babe there must be no better feeling than a fresh nappy!
As I said earlier everything is so new. Their little tummies can hurt a lot and you will probably have a scary, screaming baby at some point!
Tummy massage can really help. There are some fab videos on YouTube to help. I recommend the ones by Infacol and their resident midwife, Lara Basini. She recommends different techniques my favourite are:
- Bicycle legs – I still use this everyday!
- Sun and moon
- Tiger in the tree
Sometimes a little shift in pressure is all your babe may need. Make sure to support them and roll them on to the side. A little back rub wouldn’t go a miss either and is a lovely opportunity for some bonding time.
Just make sure to pop a muslin cloth underneath them for any ‘spillages’.
The same can be said for holding a baby upright. Our little mister really enjoys being held upright as it appears to relieve pressure from his tummy.
We see so often images of babies being cradled that we forget that they might want to be in a different position.
We all love a cuddle sometimes. Sometimes a baby does just want to be held.
It’s also pretty lovely all round.
I don’t know about you but if my little man doesn’t get to go outside he is a grump. Even at 5 months old he seems to know if he’s not had is bout of fresh air that day!
It’s good for baby. It’s good for you. Get yourself outdoors!
I personally find a walk in a harness works wonders as, like in point 8, they’re upright. Just make sure to put a muslin cloth in front of them for any minor voms.
Change of scenery
Babies get bored. If you’ve been going for a while and your beautiful babe has not stopped try walking in to another room, opening a window, or putting on some lights.
We’ve found that changing Heath’s environment can impact his mood.
What worked best for us was either a quick jump in to the garden, so long as you’re not in the middle of a storm. Either that or the warmer option of taking Heath in to the bathroom or kitchen as he particularly seemed to like spot lights.
Something to hold
I’ve found that Heath likes to hold things in between his teeny- tiny fingers. I often give him either a muslin cloth or a small furry toy to hold.
This really helps seem to relax him as he grips and releases the items.
Something to suck
Whether it’s a boob or a dummy something in the little bairn’s mouth could help to soothe them.
If you are breast feeding make sure to look at advice as to when and how to introduce a baby so as to avoid nipple confusion. Heath has taken to his dummy like a dream and it definitely has helped to soothe him rather than him staying on my chest 24/7.
This is my biggest tip!
Your baby may cry for minutes or perhaps hours. The one thing that is for sure is they will stop at some point*.
You will be knackered. Perhaps you will be more than a little emotional. Just keep going.
Cycle through the different ideas. Keep pacing back and forth. Keep rocking and swaying. Sometimes it’s just a matter of time.
If you have any additional tips please leave them in the comments below!
Babies are hard and they don’t know what they want but practice makes perfect and you will figure it out.
*if you are concerned about your baby please call 111(UK) or contact your GP/Doctor.