You would think that by baby number 5 I would have known all these things I’m about to share you. But my first few children weren’t particularly fussy, so I just walked and rocked them when they were crying and never really searched for a better solution.
My 5 month old, however, got sick a month ago and ever since, she has been a very fussy baby. Moms of colicky babies, go ahead and get out your mocking mini violins and play me a sad song, because I know she is still not even close to colicky, but she has had little interest in being apart from me and has had a hard time staying asleep for longer than 20 mintutes at a time during the day. She is not even close to rolling over because she starts screaming about 1 minute into tummy time, and my heart strings can’t stand it longer than 5. She won’t go to anyone but me for longer than 3 minutes before she starts crying– even her daddy.
I was blabbering on about all this to my sister-in-law who is a sweetheart and a problem solver and she showed up the next day with swaddling blankets and a dvd to help me find some sanity. She sat me down and taught me everything thing she learned with her incredibly fussy child number 1. I love her. She’s made my life so much more manageable. So, let me pay it forward by telling you all I have learned through this experience and arm you with the resources you will need to calm your super sweet, adorable, incessantly crying baby. Hopefully you can learn all this on your first baby instead of your fifth like me.
1- First, it would probably be a good idea to figure out why your baby is crying. If you are a first time mom, this can be overwhelming. It is your first time experiencing the crazy rush of adrenaline that shoots through your body the minute your baby starts crying. You instinctively want to do everything in your power to soothe that baby. But, even for seasoned moms, it can be hard to figure out what is wrong and it takes some time to figure each new baby out.
I remembered an Oprah episode back in the day about how you can tell what a baby needs by they way they are crying. I looked it up to see if it could help me now that I have a baby. The lady Oprah featured is Priscilla Dunston who figured out that babies speak a language of their own through specific noises they make in their whiny stage, just before they start to really cry. She found there are certain noises they make when they are hungry, tired, uncomfortable, wanting to be burped, or when they have gas pains. I included this video clip so you can hear some examples. If you are fascinated and want to learn more, you can buy her book here or her dvd here. I can totally hear my baby making these different noises now and it helps me so much in figuring out what to do to help her stop crying.
If you can tell from your baby’s cry she is hungry or needs to be burped- Sweet! Easy fix.
If you can tell from your baby’s cry that she is uncomfortable, check her diaper, make sure she isn’t too hot or cold, or change her position.
If you can tell from your baby’s cry that she is tired or has gas- well then you have a little more work to do. Keep reading.
2- Use The 5 S’s (Swaddling, Side or Stomach Position, Shushing, Softly Shaking, Sucking) You may have heard of a book or dvd called The Happiest Baby on the Block. This is what my sister-in-law shared with me. It has been around a while and I had heard of it, but had never really looked into it much. After using the 5 S’s for the past two weeks, I’m a believer! It really is magical to watch my baby calm right down when I use the techniques Dr. Harvey Karp teaches. (Dr. Karp is not paying me to promote his dvd- I just really am amazed at how well it works.) I included a video clip of him on a talk show giving a quick demo of his technique. You can purchase his dvd here if you want to delve deeper.
The best thing about this approach is that anyone can do it- your husband, your mom, the baby’s caretaker, even older siblings. It is such a burden off my shoulders to not be the only one who can calm my baby down! It is extremely effective for the first 3 months of your babies life- which he calls the 4th trimester. The basic idea is to create womb-like conditions for your baby to help them feel safe, comfortable, and calm. But my daughter is 5 months old and still responding really well to most of these techniques. If you like to read more click on the link up above article