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Settling Tips for Parents

This article can also be found in the March 2010 issue of Offspring MagazineThis article was prepared by Ngala for Offspring Magazine, WA’s own family lifestyle magazine.  Visit http://www.offspringmagazine.com.au/.

The following is a useful list of tips for calming distressed babies. You need to know that crying is to be expected and that distressed crying can occur for several hours a day and will often peak when your baby is about 6 weeks old but usually reduces after this time.  You also need to know that it takes time for you to get to know the different cries and your baby’s individual body language.  Parents are unique and they will respond differently to the different cries.  Not one response fit all types of cries so try and observe your baby’s body language and listen to the cries to work out which response will work best for your baby at that time.

    • Bath baby with a parent, however monitor the temperature of the water as babies don’t like the temperature too cold or too hot.
    • Feed baby in the bath.
    • Place pressure on your baby’s abdomen by laying him /her across your knees, or along your forearm.
    • “C” position – hold upright, face baby out from parent so the back of his or her head lies against the parent’s chest. Then draw baby’s knees up to his abdomen so he is in the fetal position.
    • Change of scene - take baby for a walk by carrying him/her into the garden.
    • Use a baby sling. Ensure baby’s face is not covered or buried in sling.
    • Hold baby upright, reduce the stimulation, calm environment, pat or rock baby (ensure slow and rhythmic).
    • Hold baby upright for a short period of time following a feed.
    • If difficult to unwind – lay baby down and then bring to the sitting position.  Repeat this a couple of times.
    • Massage with circular motion, clockwise on baby’s back or abdomen, long strokes over body – stop if your baby becomes more distressed.
    • Take baby for a walk in the pram.
    • Use rhythmic back ground noise that helps to calm you as well as baby.
    • Cuddle baby – try skin-to-skin contact or lay down with baby.
    • Sing to baby – rhythmic nursery rhymes, songs or stories.
    • Believe in yourself and trust your own judgement – all babies cry.  You must try and remain calm as you learn about what your baby needs.

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