Soothing a fractious baby should be an Olympic sport; it takes practice, dedication, resilience and after an hour of ‘bobbing’ serious biceps and an iron spine!
I am by no means a baby whisperer (I wish) but I have figured out a variety of ways to calm the little miss down when she’s fussing. I thought I’d write them down so I have them on hand for when we hopefully have baby no.2 (EEEK!) as I’ll most likely be so sleep deprived my memory won’t be functioning in the slightest. Many of the things I’m listing come naturally, you tend to instinctively sway when holding a newborn baby and continue to do so once you’ve put them down. I’ve certainly had moments in public when I’ve realised I’m doing a gentle sway with empty arms and to no music, usually with a blank expression due to sleep deprivation – not a good look.
Anyway, back to the list. Once I’ve ruled out hunger, wind, nappy, teething, boredom etc. I move onto my repetoire of soothing techniques which usually results in a sleeping baby – yay!
An absolute winner almost everytime, we’ve used the following variations:
- Extractor fan
- Washing machine / tumble dryer
- Hair drier
- Running the shower
- A grohush (portable white noise gadget)
- Various YouTube white noise compilations
- Car radio on an unused frequency
- Slumber buddy – she likes the water sound the best.
- White noise apps
- Creating your own – a strong shush shush shush also does the trick with her
I hadn’t really considered a sling or carrier when pregnant but I’d be lost without it now and it helped hugely when Grace suffered with colic (read about our experience with colic here). Learning about the ‘fourth’ trimester helped me understand why she was so much more settled in a sling.
11. Walking with baby in a sling. I have the SnugiWrap and I’m a big fan.
12. If you’re put off by the faff of tieing we’ve also used the ergo carrier which is fab now she’s bigger. They do have a newborn insert but she still felt too small for it.
As I mentioned it’s instinctive to want to move with a baby. It’s calming for them too as it reminds them of bouncing along in the womb.
13. Bobbing up and down
14. Rocking back and forth (Grace is more of a bobber than rocker)
15. Swaying side to side
16. Stepping up and down the bottom steps of the stairs
17. Going for a drive
18. Going for a walk in the pushchair
19. Bouncing on the edge of the bed (we usually do this at 4am when I’m too tired to stand)
20. Bouncer chair with vibrations
21. Tiger in the tree hold, like so…
…and the rest is a mishmash of different things!
22. Nose stroke, this is probably my favourite. When she’s really sleepy but refusing to close her eyes I stroke her nose and she impulsively closes them and then falls asleep. When I’m using g both arms to hold her I use my own nose to do it – works like a charm!
23. Swaddling, I didn’t swaddle Grace until she was 5 weeks old but wish I has from day 1 she settled much better. I really like these blankets by the gro company.
24. Baby massage
25.Back rub, she now sleeps on her side and likes having her back rubbed as she’s drifting off.
26. Cycling legs, especially good for relieving wind.
27. A bath
28. Dummy – Grace would be lost with hers!
29. Breastfeeding for comfort as opposed to food.
30. Sleepyhead deluxe pod– Grace wasn’t a huge fan of her moses basket so we bought a sleepyhead deluxe which meant we could safely co-sleep. They are extortionate but when you’re so sleep deprived you’ll pay anything!!
So there it is. If you have any top tips I’m open to suggestions!
love Hannah x
N.B This post is all my own personal opinion, I have not been endorsed in any way to mention any of the products.