The following post is in partnership with Bloom & Blossom Infant Formula.
Being a mom to a newborn comes with many joys. It can also be very exhausting, and at times, frustrating. There’s nothing quite like staring down into the eyes of your baby and seeing him smile for the first time. When you become a mom, your whole life changes and you take on a completely new role in life. Too bad your new baby doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Instead, you are expected to navigate through this new world without a GPS.
One of the most challenging things to deal with is a fussy, gassy baby. My firstborn baby was happy all the time until the clock struck 8:00 p.m. Every night at the same time my happy baby turned into a screaming, kicking machine. Nothing I did for him seemed to help. The more he screamed, the more I tensed up. To be honest, I was a young mom and I didn’t have a clue how to handle an unhappy baby. After trying different brands of infant formulas, gas drops, and tactics like bouncing him on my knee and driving him around in the car, my first born just seemed to grow out of his discomfort and unease. Then I had a second child, followed by a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth.
My babies were all very different and each of them found comfort from different things. I discovered a few tricks that consistently helped me. First, it was important for me to remain calm. The more laid back and easy going I was, the more comfortable my baby seemed to be. Second, I realized no matter how “experienced” I was at motherhood there was no shortage of advice from other moms. Everyone has an opinion and rarely do the opinions align with yours. Not matter what you do eventually you will do something that is “wrong” according to someone else. That doesn’t mean you are doing anything wrong. It just means that their “right” isn’t the same as yours.
During the last twelve years, I have been given every piece of advice you can imagine. I’ve also tried just about everything you can think of to comfort and soothe a fussy baby. Based on my experience, I am going to share the best ways I’ve found to comfort fussy babies. Remember, every baby is different and just because these worked best for me and mine, doesn’t mean they are right for you and yours.
- Swaddling. This is good when your baby seems to be restless, cranky or just fussy. ALL of my babies loved being tightly wrapped in a thin swaddling blanket. Swaddling simulates their home in the womb. To swaddle (keep in mind there are several ways to do this, this way worked best for mine), lay your baby blanket out on a flat surface. Fold one corner down and lay your baby’s head on it. Fold the opposite corner of the blanket (at the bottom) up over your baby’s feet. Fold the right corner of the blanket, tucking your baby’s arm in and securing the blanket underneath your baby’s left side. Then take the left corner and fold over the baby’s left arm, securing the corner into the crease on the right upper side. NEVER cover your baby’s face! Always check that your baby’s airways are open and free. Also make sure the blanket is not wrapped tightly around your baby’s neck.
- If your baby seems to be experiencing tummy discomfort you can try exercising his legs. Lay your baby in your lap on his back and grab hold of his feet. You will then bring his knees together and his legs will be at a 90 degree angle. Gently push your baby’s knees to his chest and then separate them by pushing them out and to the side, making a butterfly stretch with his legs. You will then gently pull the legs towards you until they are straight and back together. This always seemed to help get the flow going, so to speak.
- Another way to ease tummy discomfort is by laying your baby across your lap on her belly. Gently bounce your knees and rub her back starting from her lower back and applying light pressure as your hand travels up between her shoulder blades. This seems to help move gas bubbles up and out allowing your baby to burp. Some people have different opinions on this matter, but I will always stand firm that a baby needs to be burped once or twice during feedings.
- White noise. There is something about white noise that soothes a crying baby. I believe this is because white noise is what your baby heard in utero for the last nine months. You can download white noise apps on your smart phone, buy teddy bears that make white noise, or (what I have found to be just as effective) making the “sushing” noise in my baby’s ear. I always paired this technique with holding my baby up on my shoulder while gently bouncing and walking around the room. I’ll admit it’s a little exhausting, but for my children it was always soothing.
- Listen to your instincts. Our children may not come with instruction manuals but we moms do have a little something called a mother’s intuition. A mom just knows. We know when something is wrong, when something good has happened, or when something bad is on the horizon. Always listen to that little voice inside your head. If you feel like something is wrong, call your doctor. It may end up being nothing, but I always say, “I’d rather be safe than sorry!”
Adults and babies are a lot alike, and a lot of our comforting comes from food, what we like to call “comfort foods.” Sometimes, no amount of home remedies will ease your baby’s discomfort. If you find yourself continuing to hit walls and your baby is still fussy, try changing your baby’s formula. There’s a new infant formula hitting the scene called Bloom & Blossom Ultra Gentle Infant Formula. It’s a specially designed, easy-to-digest formula for babies experiencing fussiness, gas or crying and it is ideal for sensitive tummies!
Sometimes, it’s just a matter of changing up his or her formula. And, if you breastfeed your baby, you may try changing your diet up a little. You know, this is one of the biggest debates among moms. Which is best? I’ve done both, I have exclusively formula fed four of my children and exclusively breastfed two of my children. Both options were the best fits for me and my babies at that time. All of my babies are healthy and happy now. So my advice to you is, find what’s right for you and yours. Go with it and be proud of the mom you are!
You can also enter to win a $100 gift card + Bloom & Blossom Ultra Gentle Infant Formula. More information is available online at www.ultragentleformula.com.