We all know the feeling right? The newborn who is so weirded out by the world. They’re fed, changed, and they’ve napped, yet they are still a fussy mess. The first three months of a baby’s life (known as the fourth trimester) are considered the adjustment period for a new babe. They’re learning about the world they are going to live in now, while mourning the cozy life they had in mom’s belly. It’s an odd time for everyone.
The good news is, since I’ve done this two times now. Even though both experiences being completely different (one baby was in the NICU after trauma and born via cesarean, and the other a natural unmedicated birth with zero complications) I feel like I’ve acquired a few tools along this motherhood journey. Here are four ways to soothe a fussy newborn.
FOUR WAYS TO SOOTHE A FUSSY NEWBORN
WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS…
So, this post is really for new mothers. Why? Well if you are a seasoned mother, chances are you probably know these handy tricks that aren’t mentioned that often in the newborn world. Sure, you’ll read about gas drops and all that, but sometimes a newborn just needs things that mimic mom’s body in that fourth trimester.
Also, these tips are for when your baby has already been fed, diaper changed, and fully rested… because chances are if they cry it’s one of those things. However, with different development leaps and witching hours (they’re real) newborns can cry for no apparent reason, and it usually means they just want to be soothed! So try those things above first, then you can move on to the below:
1 // White Noise
This is something I heard a little about when I was pregnant, but not enough to know to do it right away. Both Gracie and Norah needed white noise for the fourth trimester. I have this white noise machine and it’s been amazing for night time and nap time.
If Norah is fussier than usual, I’ll put on the white noise machine and usually wear her or bounce with her (if we aren’t nursing) and typically it helps her fussiness. I also turn them on at night for both girls just as a default. I’ve found they sleep better!
2 // Babywearing
You know I am obsessed with this one 😉 I didn’t discover babywearing until Grace was around four months old though, so I completely missed the fourth trimester experience as far as wearing goes.
It’s been a night and day difference with Gracie and Norah. I can seriously wrap Norah up as soon as she starts acting fussy and she’s instantly soothed. INSTANTLY. Sometimes if she is going through a leap I’ll have to bounce on the birthing ball (see the next tip) to help her get to sleep or feel calmed but for the most part it’s amazing how quickly she feels better once she is wrapped.
Why is babywearing beneficial? There’s tons of science behind it, but the short answer is that it mimics the womb. Think about it: baby is close to your heart (and can actually hear mom’s heartbeat like they did in the womb), baby can smell you, and your movements are jiggling them around just like they did when they were in your belly. It’s a win-win, and trust me, baby snuggles while in a carrier are THE BEST THING.
Check out this post for more info on my favorite carriers, and where to start if you are new to babywearing.
3 // Bounce on a birthing ball
I sooooo WISH I had known this for Gracie. She had an evening fussy time and I was horrible at trying to soothe her. I did figure out babywearing eventually, but it wasn’t until I had Norah and realized a few days into her first developmental leap that I could use my birthing ball to bounce.
I was able to sit down to soothe her rather than having to walk around and bounce her while standing! This is a game changer you guys. It truly is. Your legs get tired, and your back starts to hurt. Sitting down and gently bouncing on the birthing ball will save your you-know-what. I got my birthing ball on Amazon for under $10. Shop it here.
4 // Skin to Skin
This isn’t one that you hear about much after you leave the hospital, am I right? We all know immediate skin to skin is good for newborn babies right out of the womb. Skin to skin “appears to benefit breastfeeding outcomes, cardio-respiratory stability, and decrease infant crying” (source). Why would those wonderful benefits end once you go home? Am I right? 🙂
If your baby is fussing, take off your shirt (and bra) and undress them. Go lay in bed and cuddle them or nurse. Or you can lay under a blanket on the couch while you’re both undressed. Side note: it’s great for toddlers too! I used to do that when Grace had a fever. More for comfort than anything. I really does work wonders!
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I hope this post about four ways to soothe a fussy newborn is helpful to you! Thank you so much for reading!