The 5 Best Ways to Soothe Your Baby
The 5 Best Ways to Soothe Your Baby
Parenting is challenging, especially when it comes to caring for your new baby. When they are so little, they can’t tell you what is wrong with them, and sometimes, it stands to reason that even your baby doesn’t know why they are unhappy. When your baby is crying, your natural reaction is to try to soothe them to ease their fears, discomforts, or whatever it is that is bothering them.
If you have played with your baby, they are fed and burped, their diaper is clean, and they do not appear to be in pain, it can be frustrating to determine why they are still fussing. You know that they need soothing, but what are the best ways to soothe your baby?
The 5 S’s are the Best Ways to Soothe Your Baby
Do any research on the internet about the best ways to soothe your baby, and you will be sure to read about the five S’s. In this case, the S’s refer to shush, swing, swaddle, suck, and side-stomach. It is important to note that these five S’s don’t need to occur in any particular order.
1. Shush your baby to soothe them
Have you ever found it easier to fall asleep to the static sound played by a noise machine? Or, have you ever wondered what you would do with those breathing exercises that you learned during Lamaze or child-birth classes now that your baby is here?
Well, we have the answer.
The concept of shushing your baby works similarly to a sound machine. It provides a constant sound that can help drown out other noises and calm your baby. And the best thing is that you can leverage the rhythmic breathing that you learned in your pre-natal classes and apply that to the shushing concept.
Hold your baby close to you and quietly make the shushing noise repeatedly in their ear. Combine this with a gentle sway or swing and a swaddle, and you’ll be golden!
2. Swing (or sway with) your baby
Let’s be clear, now is not the time to practice the do-si-do and swing your partner round and round. Instead, hold your baby close and sway back and forth gently while you shush quietly in their ear. Many babies love the gentle motion, primarily when they are held snug and securely by a loving parent or relative. If swaying with your baby doesn’t work, or if you need a break, try a baby swing. Babies love this motion too. Just remember to buckle your child into their seat, no matter how small they are. After all, safety first.
3. Swaddle your baby
Swaddling your baby helps them to feel safe and secure, especially as they start to get used to life outside the warmth of their mother’s womb. Further, new babies can’t control the movements of their arms and legs, and this flailing about can trigger a startle reflex, which can either spook them or in the least, awaken them from slumber. When you swaddle your baby, especially in a swaddling blanket or receiving blanket, it keeps them warm, cozy, safe, and secure.
4. Let your baby suck on a pacifier
The sucking reflex is natural for all babies as similar to swaddling; it makes them feel like they are back in the womb. The process of sucking helps to calm the baby. Sucking lowers their heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels and can even help alleviate pain after your baby gets their shots or bloodwork.
If you are open to letting your child try a pacifier, you may find that it works well to soothe your baby. If you are breastfeeding your baby, you may find that some special mother-baby bonding time while your child suckles, even if they do not need to feed, is enough to calm them down.
5. Try the side-stomach position
Finally, sometimes your baby needs to be arranged in a different position to make them more comfortable. Though babies who sleep on their stomachs tend to sleep harder and longer, this position can be quite dangerous and dramatically increases SIDS risk (sudden infant death syndrome).
Instead of putting your baby to sleep on their stomach, try holding them in a supine position (back to sleep), or try holding them on their side, laying them across your shoulder, or laying them across your forearm with your hand holding their head. Sometimes, just a slight position adjustment is enough to calm your baby.
Try the 5-S Soothing Combo for Your Baby
Many parents find that combining three or more of the five S’s is what it takes to soothe their baby correctly. And that is quite alright. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different options, and know that what might work for you one day might not work for you the next time your baby is fussy. The key is not to give up and know that this phase of babyhood is normal. As with everything, this too shall pass. Happy soothing!