If your baby is fussing, here are my go-to calming strategies.
1) Motion. Hold your baby (most prefer upright, against your shoulder with their tummy on your upper chest) and walk around. If this doesn't cut it, pat their back gently, too.
2) Sound. White noise can help a baby settle. There are apps, but most also love a good stove exhaust fan. Music is another alternative.
3) Water. Depending on your baby's age and level of upset, try standing in front of a running faucet/shower, or put their feet in warm water. Most newborns enjoy having running water on their scalp, too. (added bonus: doesn't require full outfit change--just wrap a towel around their body and tilt the back of their head under warm running water.) For bouts of gas, serious need to reset, a bath may be in order.
4) Wear your baby. If your baby is 0-3 months old, try a sling. (i.e. Maya sling, Over-the-Shoulder Baby Holder) If your baby is bigger or 3 months old or older, the Boba Baby or Ergo carrier is simple to use and very comfortable for mom or dad. (There are countless instructional youtube videos or you can go to a Moms' group for hands-on instruction.)
5) A change in scenery. Sometimes simply going outside is enough to distract your baby from whatever is causing distress. Often stepping out onto the porch for a few minutes is enough.
If your baby is fussing frequently and not easily soothed, consider food sensitivities.
For a more complete listing of "Colic Causing Foods in Breastfeeding" please visit Dr. Sears' website:
"Motherhood is a role where we expect perfection....And yet, often do it in isolation." --Ina May Gaskin
Support and resources for mothers are booming in Monmouth County. Get out there and connect with other mothers! You'll feel better and your baby will thank you!
Mother Support Groups in Monmouth County:
New Moms Network at Jersey Shore University Medical Center. Call for info: 732.776-4281 Free Support Group For All New Mothers.
Jersey Shore Dar a Luz Network. Meets 3rd Weds. 6:30pm in Manasquan. Free Support Group for All Mothers/Pregnant Women. www.jerseyshoredaraluz.blogspot.com
Accepting the Unexpected. Meets 1st Saturday 9:30-11:30am in Manasquan. Free Supportive Space to Share Birth Stories. Contact Rebecca at 973-876-4283 prior to attending. Natural Beginnings NJ.
ICAN of Monmouth County. Cesarean Awareness Network. Meets monthly in Manalapan. ICAN NJ
Mother to Mother Support Group. Meets Mondays 11-12:30pm in Long Branch. Free. To register, call 732. 923-6990. Monmouth Medical
Breastfeeding Support Groups in Monmouth County:
Bosom Buddies. Free Group meeting Wednesdays 11-12:30 in Colts Neck. Bosom Buddies
La Leche League. Free Group meeting in Wall and Freehold. La Leche League NJ
Milk Mama Cafe. Free Group meeting in Spring Lake. Thursdays 9:30-11am. Natural Beginnings NJ.
If you know of a mother support group in Monmouth County that I missed, please comment and share! There are many fitness and mommy & me classes available, too.
First-time moms often want to know what to put in the Diaper Bag. Your needs vary, according to your baby's age, method of feeding and diapering. But, here's Crash Course.
If you're still pregnant, I highly recommend packing the diaper bag now (or at least soon). (It's not unusual to have a weight-check or appointment within 2-3 days of the birth.) Either way, you'll be glad your Diaper Bag is stocked and ready to go.
*Change of clothes
*Extra Socks (can double as mittens)
*Snack (i.e. granola bar, trail mix, crackers--non-perishable)
2 disposable nursers OR
Sterilized or bottled water, pre-measured powder formula
You'll need a 'wet' bag
Bigger Diaper Bag
Highly Suggest checking out: Snooty Booty Diapers
Pacifier (not for use in the first 3 wks, if you're breastfeeding)
It might be tempting to skip over things like "gum/mints".....But, after you've fed, changed and prepped the baby and barely made it out the door, there's a decent chance you'll be in the waiting room and realize you haven't even brushed your teeth. Or, you might be equally grateful for the granola, particularly if you're a nursing mama who fed her baby but not herself!
Depending on how frequently you go out, it's good to get in a regular habit of taking stock of your bag: have enough diapers? Do the change of clothes still fit? Is the hat/blanket warm enough?
Love to hear from you....If you have a comment or question, please share!
A newborn smiles...Someone, somewhere must utter the obligatory phrase: "It must be gas." I've got such a bone to pick about this old saying!
First, I've worked with hundreds and hundreds of babies. I've never seen one baby with gas smile. Have you?
Second, when a newborn screams or cries, who doubts the authenticity of that emotion? Most people trust that a baby is legitimately unhappy....So, why can't that same baby be genuinely happy?
I think the basis of this old myth is that a newborn baby just isn't developmentally capable of a full range of human emotion. I disagree.
There is a different quality to the 'Social Smile' that usually emerges around 6 weeks. This smile is more purposeful and used for interaction. Smiles seen in the first weeks seem to be more internal and not seeking a response.
While I'm waiting for Developmental Psychologists to back me up on this, I'll stand firm in my opinion that babies are whole people.
Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Mother of Three.