Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fussy Baby

When I was a new parent, I was completely freaked out when my precious son would cry. I thought if I was the perfect parent, he wouldn't cry! My husband was a natural, he would sweep right in and pick up our son and just seemed to know why he was crying! I was dismayed that my maternal instincts didn't immediately kick in telling me why my son was crying. I had alot to learn. I knew that babies cry when they are hungry, need their diaper changed, etc. but I wasn't prepared for a son with major gastrointestinal problems. We ended up in the emergency room just a few days after he was born. He ended up in the children's hospital an hour and a half away, because he had reflux so bad, he was starving! So maybe, just maybe, my maternal instincts had nothing to do with it. I had a fussy baby.

Back when I was a baby, it was called colic. Now that I have kids it is called reflux, colic, gas, fussiness, basically whatever the doctor comes up with. But some of us just have fussy babies. As a parent you eventually figure out what works for your baby. Each baby is different, but here are some tips to try, and hopefully you will find one that works and you and baby will be much happier!

The most commonly used technique is swaddling. Basically you wrap your little one up like a burrito. They feel safe and snug. There are neat, new blankets out on the market now, that do all the work for you, you just velcro it and bam, your baby is swaddled. Swaddling also happens to be the first S in Dr Karp's 5 S's. Let me explain a bit, have you heard of the book "Happiest Baby on the Block" ? Basically this doctor, Dr Karp, has researched different techniques for calming babies. He calls it the 5 S's. More on that later.

Another good idea, is to play classical music, or soft jazz. Something soothing. Not only does it lull the baby, it makes momma and daddy calm too! Try keeping a cd player in the nursery and have a few calming cd's around.

One of my favorite things to do was to take my son outside. The fresh air just seemed to perk him up and he had lots of things to concentrate on and look at, so it took his mind off of being fussy!

OK, back to the 5 S's from Dr Karp. Here they are : Swaddle, Side/ stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking. Pretty self- explanatory. Basically you are to do your best to make it so that they feel like they are back in the womb. Babies are so immature, the dr states, that they basically could benefit by hopping back in when things are to overwhelming! Makes sense to me!

Whatever reason for your fussy baby, don't feel bad if your maternal or paternal instincts don't make everything perfect like I thought when I was a new parent. some babies are just fussy. But it gives us a great excuse to put down the laundry and go snuggle our babies!!

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