Soothing your Fussy Infant: Three Secret Methods

Posted Posted by Jill Roberson, MD in Articles, Blog     Comments 1 comment

Nothing can evoke more emotion than a fussy infant who just does not seem to be able to get settled.  Add to that some maternal sleep deprivation and you have a recipe for some real tears. It can make you feel so helpless when you have tried everything, feeding, burping, changing the diaper, and the baby continures to cry.  There are a myriad of reasons the baby is fussy, but many times it all comes down to tummy ache. These suggestions revolve around relieving gas pain in the infant.  These methods have worked in other situations as well, including soothing the fussy infant after a surgical procedure.

  1. The Dryer Trick.  For this method, there must be a clothes dryer available and a top loader works better than a front loader.  First, swaddle the baby like the nurses in the   newborn nursery.  Next, place a towel on top of the dryer.  Turn the dryer on  and place the infant on the towel.  Place the infant on her tummy.  Of course, you must stand right there with the infant while she is on the dryer.  That is part of the process of soothing the fussy infant.  The heat, vibration, your touch and voice will calm the infant down .  Most of the time the infant will fall asleep in a few minutes.
  2. Massage.  This requires some planning ahead and does not work on the spur of the moment.  Infants respond to their mother’s emotions and so if mom is stressed(who isn’t), sleep deprived and facing an infant that cannot be quieted, it can turn into a never ending cycle:  baby cries, mom cries, baby cries more, etc.  This is the reason I recommend a therapeutic massage for the mother.  It helps to relax and relieve the tension.  Most communities have at least one Massage Therapist and it would be well worth the mother’s time to partake in this activity.  Some therapists will give infants a massage as well.  Talk to your health care provider about infant massage.
  3. The Hold.  There is a certain holding method recommended in soothing the fussy infant.  It is not a difficult thing to do, but it works like a charm.  Hold the baby with his back to your chest.  Place your left arm over the baby’s abdomen.  Place your right hand under his bottom and your cheek against his head.  You can walk around or just flex your knees slightly while remaining stationary.  Within minutes, the infant will stop crying and usually fall asleep.

These are the most tried and true methods of soothing the fussy infant.  It is always good to have several soothing methods in your repertoire.  Use these methods and remember, try to relax.

1 Comment to “Soothing your Fussy Infant: Three Secret Methods”

  • I love the dryer trick! Kind of a combination of some good loud white noise and the movement that so often calms a fussy baby :)

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