Your Infant, Calming Fussiness & a Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner
One commonly blogged question is: What are the effects of white noise on a baby's hearing? White noise machines are actually harmful to babies hearing development. According to WebMd studies, "exposing infants to white noise - commonly done to soothe infants or drown out other noises - may delay hearing and possibly language development."
White noise machines and even CD's are sold to calm infants that are colicky or can't fall asleep. It's since been concluded that it's probably not a good idea to expose babies and infants to nonstop white noise, but everyday exposures are not harmful. In fact, some are quite soothing. What are the best ways to calm a fussy baby? Below are a few tips and advice to get you through those delicate times.
Babies Love Motion
Babies love motion so rocking them is always a great way to calm them down. After spending months in mommy's belly and being constantly on the move, laying still might seem odd or unfamiliar. Movement tends to provide them with the security they need to relax. A few things to try are:
1. Baby swing
The rocking motion of the swing often relaxes baby and increasing calmness and sleepiness. It's a continuous rhythmic motion that seems to soothe them.
2. Rocking chair
It's always ideal to rock your baby back and forth. Standand walk with them, or invest in a rocking chair. Keep them close to you. Lying close to the heart reminds them of the womb and the movement is relaxing.
3. Mommy sling
The mommy sling is always a functional idea that allows mom to stay busy and provide the baby with the close proximity and soothing movement he or she needs at the same time.
Of course going for a walk in the stroller allows the baby to watch you and enjoy the rocking motion of the stroller at the same time. So go for a short stroll, when you get home the baby can stay in the stroller and continue to rest without being disturbed.
5. Car seat for the car
Going for a drive is a great way to put your baby to sleep. The rocking motion of the car is calming and soothing. The noise outdoors, music set on low and some quiet singing helps relax the baby and encourage rest.
Swaddling & Snuggling
Your baby has spent months in the womb and is used to being packed closely within a warm and cozy place. Try to recreate a similar feeling and your baby will feel content and secure.
Swaddling the baby helps create a feeling of safety and security. Use a lightweight blanket and wrap the baby with the arms across the chest. This has a remarkably calming effect and newborns love it. It also helps them sleep longer and more soundly, too.
Lie down with the baby on top of you and cover you both with a blanket. Not only does this create a type of swaddling effect, but it also allows the baby to lie close to your heart and connect with familiar sounds like the beating of your heart and the gurgling of the tummy.
3. Try the Sling
The sling helps two-fold. Not only does it provide the swaying motion babies love, but it also swaddles them. The sling can be used inside or outside the home, keeping the baby calm while mom completes chores or errands.
The womb is anything but quiet. The baby has been living with all of your bodily noises, the sound of your voice, beating heart, gurgling stomach, and blood flow; therefore, household noises and environmental sounds can be soothing.
1. Vacuum cleaner
Typical household chores like vacuuming, using the washer and dryer, or running the dishwasher can be calming to the baby. Try placing the baby in a sling or swing, to provide movement, and then complete whatever household chores are necessary. With a lightweight upright vacuum cleaner you can wear the sling and complete tasks at the same time.
A fan helps drown out disrupting noises or the nuisance of extreme silence. Look for a fan with a low decibel rating as the whirling sound of the fan shouldn't be too loud. A fan is known to be soothing, and you have the added benefit of removing room stuffiness too for a better air quality.
3. Shushing sound
When rocking, holding or even lying down with your baby make a quiet shushing sound to help with relaxation. The sound mimics those heard within the womb, so repeating the sound calmly can have a positive effect.
A Few More Ideas
- Monitor indoor temperature: By monitoring indoor temperature you can create a comfortable environment for your baby. Make sure your baby is not too hot or too cold.
- Clothing, gas, & diapers: Hot, tight or confining clothes can create discomfort. Also, make sure your baby has been burped properly and that there isn't any excessive gas in the tummy. See to diaper changes when needed. The baby won't rest well if wet or has chaffing and irritated skin.
- Go outside: A change of scenery might be just the thing the baby needs to quiet down and relax.
- Try a baby massage: We all know how relaxing a massage can. The same is true of babies. Some babies find stroking soothing.
- Quiet things down: Avoid too much stimulation. In other words, turn off the TV and dim the lights.