7 Things You Can Do Right Now with a Fussy Baby

When you have a fussy baby, the minutes feel like hours and it’s easy to panic. Don’t panic! Take control of the situation and help your baby adjust to life outside the womb. Set aside worries about allergies, diet restriction, and milk production. Get the baby calm, help mama get calm, and then call your lactation consultant.

Hop in the Bath
Babies love baths. Mommies often need one too. Co-bathing can calm and focus your baby. Babies who are frustrated at the breast often respond well to nursing in the bath. Bath tub nursing can halt a nursing strike, help a baby with a shallow latch relax and open wide, and help a mom who is having let down trouble. Safety tip: have another adult present to pass the baby in and out of the tub to mom to avoid slip and fall risk.

Magic Baby Hold
It’s magic. Hold the baby like this. Magic Baby Hold with Bill

This is a variation of the common tummy massages like bicycling legs, rubbing the tummy clockwise, or burping. This can help pass gas or ease a baby who seems constipated. Remember: constipation is hard dry stool, not infrequent stool.

Swing and Sway
Not just the baby swing. Babies calm faster in arms. Swing with your baby on your lap on your porch swing or glider. Wrap your baby in a sling or carrier and walk through the house. Babies like to be near a heart beat. Being skin to skin while swaying through the house is extremely soothing.

Nurse in a Carrier
Nursing in a carrier allows the baby to be upright and compressed. This helps with reflux symptoms and gas. Upright feeding can also ease the stress of fast milk flow or over-active let down. Babies with tongue or lip ties can often open wider because of the firm back support carriers provide while the head can move more freely. Sucking also helps relax babies and their GI muscles. More nursing helps them poop.

Play with Temperature
Take some frozen milk out and spoon feed it to your baby or put it in a mesh feeder. The cold is exciting and different for older babies, especially teething babies. Older babies may like to hold a frozen teething toy or a warm teething toy.

Get Outside
Even if the weather is crummy, just standing on the porch may change things. If you’re able to carry your baby for a walk, this is usually better than a stroller. The upright position and being near an adult care giver are more relaxing than a stroller.

Play with Texture
Let your baby touch something interesting and new. A tooth brush or cotton ball or sand or salt. Watch that these things stay away from the mouth. Novel sensory experiences can change your baby’s outlook pretty rapidly.

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5 Things You Actually Need Before the Baby Comes

1. Water proof mattress pad
It’s not for the crib or bassinet. Get a mattress cover for your grown-up bed. During the first weeks postpartum, women lose a lot of fluid. Some experience night sweats, most of us leak milk, and everyone has an unpredictable flow of lochia. Let’s not forget the mess the baby makes. At some point, every new mom will hold and nurse her baby in her bed. Spit up, leaked milk, and explosive diapers happen in every room of your house. Keeping the mattress protected from liquids is a simple investment that will really improve your postpartum comfort.

nursingpillow2. A ring shaped nursing pillow
But it’s not for nursing! Most women have some degree of sensitivity when sitting the first several days postpartum. The ring shaped nursing pillow is a perfect sit-upon for mom as it cushions the tissue around the birth canal and allows the perineum to rest in the center, completely untouched. Truth: hemorrhoids happen in late pregnancy. You might be opening that ring pillow before the baby comes.
Most women don’t have enough torso length to fit both the ring pillow and the baby. Very rarely is the pillow helpful for newborn nursing. However, it can be a great help for positioning your baby for other things as they grow: Assisting with sitting up, cradling the baby while mom does a two-hands task, and offering low back support for mom after a long day of snuggling a heavy child.

chuxpads3. Chux pads or other disposable water proof pads
Motherhood is a wet condition. Your post birth body undergoes rapid changes in the first weeks as your organs realign and your uterus shrinks. Postpartum contractions speed the process but can also stimulate the bladder and flow of lochia. Sometimes, moms leak. Sitting on a chux pad when rocking in that new, expensive, pastel glider will really boost your confidence. Sit on one on the couch or in bed too.

sleepbra4. Nursing sleep bras
Your breasts will change rapidly in the first few weeks of nursing. Sleep bras are a better investment until you know what size you will be. They are sized small-xx large, taking a lot of guess work out.
These bras are not like bras at all. They hold breast pads to control leaking and do not cause pressure on the breasts. There are no plastic clips or wires to fiddle with. They are economical and make a good transitional bra option while nursing is just getting started.
Even if you don’t plan to breastfeed, you will make some milk and need something over the breasts to absorb leaking. Pressure is no longer recommended for mothers wishing to cease lactation.

5. A sling or wrap to hold the baby
At some point, you’ll need to do some two-handed tasks (like pulling back your new mommy ponytail). Babies are hard to put down. They like being held and moms like holding them. A sling or wrap can help you nurse hands-free as well. Evidence shows that babies are best able to regulate their breathing, heart rate, temperature, and metabolism when they are in close contact with an adult care giver. Skin-to-skin contact also promotes long term milk supply. Your local Baby Wearing International group may have a sling lending library.

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