How to Calm a Crying Baby
Your baby is clean, dry and fed but still crying? Have You Tried the 5 S's?
While photographing all these newborns, parents are always amazed at my baby calming skills. So I thought I would share my secret. When I was in my last year of nursing school, expecting my first baby, when we started our OB rotation. I soaked up everything I could. I was about to be a first time parent, and there was soooo much unknown. One thing that REALLY stood out was how to calm a baby. Let me tell you...this information has been a lifesaver, at home, at my job as a labor and delivery nurse, and while photographing your gorgeous babies during their newborn sessions. Want to know what they are??
1. SHHHHH! The shushing sound. While babies are in your belly, they constantly hear the blood flowing though your body. The shush sound mimics this. In my studio I use the famous Baby Shusher Machine to play this noise during the session for an unsettled baby. Many parents look it up on amazon before leaving my studio! I love this thing!!! I just wish it was easier to use one handed. Everything should be made for a one handed mom!!! I don't think baby #4 would have EVER slept if I didn't have this! It helped her tune out all the household chaos, which made for a much happier baby (and mama)!
2. SWADDLE! Swaddle, swaddle, swaddle!!!! I can't say it enough. This is so comforting to a baby that has just been squished into a tiny ball for the last 9 months. They're still unfamiliar with all this space they have now, and startle themselves easily. I find this to be the quickest way to calm a baby, and have yet to meet a baby that "doesn't like" to be swaddled. I love those light weight muslin swaddle blankets, but if you are struggling to wrap your baby those sleep sacks work amazing too!
3. Side laying. I don't know what it is about it, but it works! I hold them side laying on my arm, facing out and sway, which brings me to the next S on the list.
4. Sway/Swing. When baby is in your belly, they're used to constant jiggly movements. A bounce, swing or swaying movement does the trick. I mean, even moms without their babies or have grown babies still sway when they hear a baby crying. Look around at other women in the grocery store the next time your baby cries. I think it's just as soothing to us!
5. Sucking. This triggers the baby's calming reflex. You instantly see baby relax, unless they're still hungry! Sucking helps calm them, lowing their heart rate, helps regulate their breathing and overall lowers stress levels for baby and parents. Out of my 5 I had two that took a pacifier, two that suck their thumb, and one that did neither. Many new moms are concerned to try a pacifier in fear of nipple confusion, but once you have established a good latch it can be extremely calming.