It sure has been awhile since I have shared a designated post about all things motherhood, and today I am excited to share 8 ways to calm a fussy baby when nothing else is working. We’ve ALL been there, right mama!
What are some tips you have sworn by that help to calm a fussy baby?
Lucy is just shy of being 4 months old now and I FINALLY feel like I have sort of figured out life with her. We slowly adjusted, and I am learning her needs and wants. But wait, I am sure next week things will take a major shift, because that’s what babies seem to do as soon as you feel like you have it all figured out! They like to throw a curve ball! Go figure!
I am no pro when it comes to motherhood and newborn babies, but there have been some things I have learned a long the way from experience, other friends, breastfeeding consultants and of course pediatricians. Disclaimer: Some of these tips are what specifically worked for me and my children. If you have questions or thoughts, consult with your pediatrician first.
8 WAYS TO CALM A FUSSY BABY WHEN NOTHING ELSE IS WORKING
#1 GIVE GRIPE WATER – I honestly swear by Gripe Water. I also prefer it over the “gas drops” that also claim to do the same thing. But I do feel that every baby is different and trying both on your baby to see how they respond is the best thing you can do. I will generally give my babies Gripe Water after we have been on-the-go or outside. Anywhere where they have gasped in more air than being at home. Those extra gulps of air always seems to cause them to be fussy. After I give the Gripe Water I will generally lay them on their back and bicycle their legs (basically Tip #9!!!) This really helps to release all the bubbles and you’ll be shocked at the amount of toots you’ll hear 🙂 Such a good sign that is it working though!
You know the “witching hour” that happens EVERY NIGHT or late afternoon starting around 4 or 5? Yep, me too! This is another time I offer the Gripe Water.
#2 HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT PROBIOTICS – This is one you need to consult with your pediatrician first. BUT, after talking with a few friends when Lucy was just 3 weeks old. I had expressed to them that she just seemed so uncomfortable in her own body. That she fussed and cried the majority of the day and was tense each time we would hold her. She had a difficult time cuddling and staying relaxed. That’s when my friend suggested I talk to my pediatrician and start giving Lucy an infant probiotic. I went to my nearest Whole Foods and started Lucy on a probiotic immediately (after consulting with Lucy’s Pediatrician first). To my surprise I started to notice a big change (within just about 3-4 days) in her temperament and her ability to relax in our arms. What the probiotic helps with is the overall Gut health for babies. It is an important factor for immune development and health throughout their lives. We have used both of these brands Jarro-Dophilus Probiotics and Culturelle Probiotics . It is highly recommend to get infant probiotics from the refrigerator when you are looking at your local Sprouts or Whole Foods. The ONLY reason I didn’t go with this specific probiotic, is because I mostly breastfeed Lucy and the powder infant probiotics that are kept in the fridge need to be dropped into a bottle and not given orally. I offer the Probiotics each morning after getting Lucy dressed at the same time I give her, her Vitamin D Supplement.
#3 NIGHT TIME MASSAGE WITH LAVENDER OIL – I started doing this with Edison, my first born, and loved the special bond we had. I did it as part of our nightly routine: bath, lotion, massage with lavender oil, jammies, story, feed, then lay-down for bed. Depending on my babies mood (crying; we go fast) I generally start with their toes and feet and work my way up and end with their fingers and hands. You can find several YouTube videos of Baby Massage online. But I will share a couple favorites HERE and HERE. We also really love using our Tubby Todd Baby Massage Oil.
#4 WEAR BABY IN WRAP – You should all know by now how much I love my fabric baby wrap from Solly Baby SO MUCH!! I even designated an entire post to my best tips and favorite memories while using our Solly Baby fabric wrap.You can see that post HERE!
#5 GO OUTSIDE FOR FRESH AIR – Why is it that being outside with a baby just makes them so much happier? After thinking about it, it really is a no brainer. I too enjoy getting outside for some fresh air after being cooped up inside all-day-long. I generally will find myself outside pacing around our yard during the early evening hours with Lucy. It’s honestly great for EVERYONE in the home too. Get’s my almost 3 year old son, outside to use his creativity as well. An added bonus is to wear your baby in the fabric wrap while being outside.
#6 TRY OFFERING BOTTLE WITH FORMULA – Yep, I am a breastfeeding mom, but there are times when I love to offer a bottle of formula. Reason #1: I choose formula because I don’t generally pump. I have never really needed to and don’t have a freezer stocked up with extra breastmilk. Reason #2: Offering a bottle with formula to your baby will help keep them full longer. Especially during the night! The most common time we will offer a bottle to Lucy, around 6 or 7 pm, when bedtime is approaching. If you are looking for a formula to use, we use the Enfamil Gentlease NeuroPro. Reason #3: It’s SO nice to be able to hand your baby over to your spouse, or loved one, or even a grandparent for 30+ minutes. Let them feed your baby a bottle so you can step away from your over-fussy baby.
#7 CRANIOSACRAL THERAPY – To some, this may sound a bit weird or even scary, but I have done it now with both of my children. I was referred to Bridgette Chelf here is San Diego who is a holistic Chiropractor and Craniosacral Therapist, from my breast feeding consultant. We started to make regular appointments with our chiropractor after getting both Edison and Lucy’s tongue tie released. The reason we did this was to teach them how to use their muscles while learning their new tongue and mouths after the procedure. The therapy helps to relax the muscles in their neck too from being overworked due to being tongue tied. With Lucy, we made the decision to go because, as I mentioned previously, she seemed so uncomfortable in her own body. She would arch her back any time we would hold her upright. She would throw her neck completely back any time she would cry. You could just sense that something was off. She just wasn’t comfortable in her own skin yet. After doing a few treatments of Cranioscral Therapy I noticed as major difference. Lucy became happier. She wasn’t crying all day long and she wasn’t nearly as tense as she used to be. She even would actually relax when holding her in an upright position. Again, this may not be something for everyone. But it is something that has helped us so much!
As a momma you know your baby best. If you sense that something is “off” with your child and think that the fussiness is caused by tight muscles etc. this option may be best for you and your baby. But of course remember, it isn’t for everyone.
#8 RULE OUT IF YOUR BABY IS TONGUE TIED – Did your babies pediatrician check to see if your baby was tongue tied? Ours did, but hardly looked nor did she say anything. It wasn’t until I started to notice several signs. Signs like a VERY fussy baby: Edison cried a lot. I mean A LOT!!! (but as a new mom, I didn’t know what to compare him to) Signs of my milk supply being very low: I hardly produced any milk when I pumped. Signs of Edison having a difficult time gaining weight: We were in and out of doctors appointments each week for the 1st month of his life. And Signs of very sore nipples and constant clogged ducts. That’s when I made the decision to visit a breastfeeding consultant. I was going into our appointment just thinking she would help me get a better latch which would help to increase my milk supply and decrease the amount of clogged ducts I was experiencing. But the new information I was told completely changed my babies lives – in the best way possible! I was told Edison was tongue tied which was why my milk supply was significantly low. My body was only creating just the amount of milk he was able to get out, which wasn’t a lot, from what I learned. It was if he was drinking through a very small straw. This explained why he was fussy, he was hungry. I would have never guessed he was hungry, and worn out after eating (from working 3 times as hard as a baby who isn’t tongue tied) because I was following the what the books said and feeing every 3-4 hours for 30+ minutes. Little did I know he was just hungry, poor baby! It literally breaks my heart thinking about it. Which is why I love to share our story with other new moms.
If you have had your baby checked for being tongue tie, check again, if he see some of these same signs we experienced. Find a doctor who is pro tongue tie procedures! It makes such a big difference. It was apparent that Edison’s pediatrician wasn’t and I have now found one for Lucy who is and I am so thankful for the extra support I received from her.
We have loved and put our trust into Dr. Khoury at The Brush Shop in Carlsbad. She is phenomenal! She preformed both Edison and Lucy’s Laser Tongue and Lip procedures and she is an absolute dream if you are local.
Do you have any ways to calm a fussy baby? Share in a comment below!