5 Tips to Soothe a Fussy Baby

fussy baby

Listen up folks! We’ve got a great article to help soothe your twinnies when they get fussy — PLUS an awesome giveaway from MAM! Enter below for your chance to win TWO Feed and Soothe Sets (4 anti-colic bottles + 2 pacifiers per set), 10 glow-in-the-dark Night Pacifiers, and 4 Pacifier Clips — the perfect combo to help soothe babies any time, day or night. 

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Twin parents often feel overwhelmed and overworked. A fussy baby can often be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. You can only do so much on such a limited amount of sleep. When you have run through your normal gambit; are they hungry? Do they need a diaper change? Do they need to burp? Are they overstimulated, under stimulated, constipated, or gassy? When you have found that they are none of these things, but that they are still screaming and you feel frazzled and at the end of your rope, here are some soothing techniques that are a sure bet.

fussy baby

Swaddle

There was a nurse at the hospital that I delivered at that taught a baby safety class. We came away with a wealth of information. Her advice for soothing babies was to wrap them up as tight as possible. She explained that while a free form blanket or piece of cloth was perfectly fine to use during the day when we had our eyes on the baby, that it shouldn’t be used at night in the crib due to the risk of SIDS. Her recommendation was a sleep sack that had the swaddle wings attached to the back. This way we could wrap their entire abdomen super tight without the fear of it coming undone, covering their face or them getting tangled or smothered. I personally loved these sleep sacks because my children were all auditioning to be future Houdinis and could maneuver their way of absolutely everything else. This kept them snuggled tight and safe all night long.

White Noise or Lullaby Machine

All of my children had a Scout puppy that played pre-selected classical music. This was always my first line of defense. If Scout failed in his duties I would turn on their humidifier. Not only did that make the harsh and dry Colorado air easier to breathe, but it had the added effect of making a low and calming buzzing noise. With one of my children we had to take it a step further and have ocean waves playing on an iPod in the room. White noise is great because it blocks out all of the other noises of the world. No more dogs barking, car noises or even birds tweeting. The steady rhythm and lack of sudden noises helps to soothe them to sleep and keep them sleeping.

Stepping Away

There is a reason why interrogators use unrelenting loud music and noise in torture techniques. It really gets to you after even a short period of time. Sometimes a parent’s stress from lack of sleep as well as the anxiety that comes from being unable to soothe your baby can contribute to your baby being upset. Take a break. Make sure the baby is safe, leave the room, and shut the door. Go to another room and if you can still hear the crying put in some headphones and listen to some music for 15 minutes. While you are doing this take some deep breaths. Try and calm down a little bit. You may find that by the time 15 minutes is over that your baby has finally settled and is asleep. If not, you are able to approach the situation from a calmer and more centered position, which your baby will be able to pick up on.

fussy baby

Skin to Skin: Heart to Heart

One of my twins to this day needs skin to skin contact if he is having a really terrible time. Remove your baby’s clothes down to their diaper and place them on your chest. If you are wearing a scoop or V-neck shirt you are fine, if not you will need to remove your top. Cover them with a blanket and sing slowly, softly and quietly — anything that comes to mind (rounds are really easy, but so is your current favorite song on the radio). Either place your hand on their back (so they can feel the weight) or pat them softly. The skin to skin contact, coupled with your heartbeat and vibration of your voice is a sure thing most of the time.

The Right Product For The Right Baby

It is hard to think that something as basic as a bottle or pacifier can cause discomfort for your baby. I learned a little too late that the bottles that I had registered for didn’t have air vents and that this was a big deal. This led to my babies swallowing as much air as they did milk. We endured a lot of long and sleepless nights before a friend suggested that we try a MAM anti-colic bottle. I ran out immediately and grabbed one. At that point I was so frazzled and exhausted I would have tried anything. I don’t want to be overly dramatic and say that we saw a change overnight, but we did. After the first feeding with it they were considerably less fussy and after the second, well, let me tell you the sound of silence is the greatest sound of all.

Having some tools in your back pocket to help soothe your upset baby or babies is a lifesaver. While no one method works perfectly for all babies, having a rotating list to work with will save you a lot of sleepless nights.

destiny effertzDestiny Effertz is a stay at home mom to 3 boys under 5. Prior to having children she worked as a paralegal in a large civil litigation firm. Now she uses those research and organizational skills formulating new pie recipes and planning family vacations. For more articles by Destiny on Twiniversity, click here.

 

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