Bringing home baby is such a special time in the lives of our growing families but it can be a bit nerve wrecking, too. Especially if your baby is exceptionally cranky. The dream of quietly rocking your little one to sleep while singing lullabies can be quickly shattered when baby just won't stop crying. For my son it was gas due to an under-developed digestive system. For other babies, the reason may not be so clear. But for all parents and babies, it's stressful. It can even be depressing when our babies seem to always be crying despite our best and most instinctual efforts. Add in sleepless nights and housework piling up around you while baby cries and you have a perfect storm for PPD.
I learned pretty early on about my son's discomfort. And I tried just about everything save for ancient Chinese acupuncture but that doesn't mean I wouldn't have tried it if I had known a guy. I was desperate. So I thought that this week I would give my tips and tricks that helped calm my uncomfortable baby. Just in case, you needed it too.
1. Use water: Bath time doesn't have to be just before bed. If your babe is soothed by water, consider giving them a bath during the day. I found that filling the tub and getting in with my uncomfortable baby was very helpful. He loved it when I held the back of his head and allowed him to float and kick his legs. Floating in water can help soothe an already escalated and crying baby.
2. The Tiger in the Tree hold: This is for helping gas move through the belly and out. Place baby belly down on your forearm with the head in your hand. Let his/her arms and legs dangle. Here's a picture of the Tiger in a Tree hold.
3. Leg exercises: If gas is your culprit, find many times during the day to help baby move the gas out while they are happy and before the pain gets too bad. Spend a few minutes every hours bicycling baby's legs and gently pushing knees to chest. Another leg exercise is the pretzel. Cross baby's legs and rock hips toward chest and down and then in a side to side motion.
4. Baby massage: Baby massage is an excellent way to help baby de-stress and relax. It can also do wonders for sleep and gas problems. Note: massage should only be done when baby is happy and willing. Here's a great video on how to give your baby a massage.
There are some many things to try and soothe a colicky or gassy baby. Did you have a fussy baby? What were some of the ways you soothed him or her?
image © iStock/ arekmalang