You know when you were pregnant and couldn’t move around without waddling like a penguin and getting up and sitting down was such a huge task, and waking up in the morning, showering, getting ready and going to work seemed like a huge accomplishment; well, that was the easy part! Even going through the labor and delivery wasn’t as exhausting and tough as taking care of a newborn.
Everyone tells you about the joys of pregnancy and being a new mom. But what everyone forgets to tell you is that the first six weeks or so of motherhood are going to be the hardest six weeks of your life. If you’re lucky, your mother-in-law and own mother will come help with the daily tasks and give you a few hours to yourself. But if you’re not or don’t have a mother or mother-in-law then you and your partner better be prepared for the bumpiest, most sleep-disruptive ride of your lives.
Ni is 3.5 weeks old and for the first week my mom slept over and helped out quite a lot. But soon after, she too became exhausted and hasn’t been feeling too well, so she’s gone back to her place and only occasionally comes over to help out. D’s been ever-so-helpful but busy himself lately. So, all Ni has left is her mommy, who’s trying to do her best to not get frustrated due to the exhaustion she feels. But sometimes its hard not to want to cry and sulk or take out your frustrations on your spouse ( as I have about half a dozen times this week).
I mean, overall, I’ve been blessed with a good child who doesn’t fuss and muss too much. But boy, when she does its like the end of the world. Lol. Those moments (realistically an hour or more) can be utterly nerve-wrecking and tormenting for you. But the one thing I’ve learned these past few weeks is, when she’s fussing be gentle, keep calm, and don’t let her feel your frustration. Because although baby maybe too young to understand many things at this time, they do realize when a parent is frustrated and that affects how quickly they settle down.
I’d like to share a few tips to settling a fussy baby (I haven’t mastered the art of calming a baby but Ni seems to calm down after a I’ve tried a few of these tactics on her).
1. Check the diaper! Some babies can tolerate a wet or soiled diaper for a couple of hours. But if your baby seems to have sensitive skin, like Ni, then she’ll fuss and get really worked up fast. So, make sure to check the diaper and change it first.
2. Is Baby Hungry? If you see baby smacking her lips together or sucking on her fingers or as Ni does, she cries and screams angay or so it sounds like, try sticking the tip of your pinky finger in her mouth and if she sucks, you know those are hunger cries. So what are you waiting for? Feed her already!
3. Is She Gassy? The best way to tell if your baby is gassy is if she’s got her fists clenched and seems to be pushing hard. My solution for this is try burping her on your shoulder or sit her up right and see if she can burp out the gas bubble. Ovol drops are useless and don’t help much. But if you can buy a bottle of Gripe water then your baby will love you! I give Ni a bit of gripe water in the morning because she’s been very colicky lately and the pediatrician was ok with me giving it to her daily as its more natural than giving Ovol drops.
4. Over-Stimulated? Sometimes a baby can be over-stimulated. Maybe you’ve had many visitors holding and touching her all day. Maybe you’ve been out and about in a noisy environment. Ni sometimes gets over-stimulated just by being over at my mom’s house and hearing all the kids play and dog bark. So, I give her a warm bath at night (well D does because I’m to chicken to by myself) and then he massages her gently with baby lotion, puts on her PJ’s and I feed her and then she falls asleep. This has seemed to help the most lately.
5. Maybe She Just Wants To Be Held Sometimes Ni is just fussy because she’s a baby and can be. So, when all else fails, I wrap her in a warm blanket and in my arms, I stand with my legs spread shoulder-length apart and rock my hips from side to side and sing in the most calm voice I possibly can (never knew I even had such a calm voice). After a good 10-15 mins of rocking and singing my darling angels settles down and normally falls asleep. But if her sleep isn’t deep, then I’ll take her into bed with me and let her sleep beside me until she wakes to be fed.
These few simple tricks have helped my little princess calm down and fall asleep. I know when a baby is fussing its hard not to lose your own cool. But if you can put your cool and frustrations on the back burner for a bit and calm baby down first, trust me you’ll all be much happier. Try them out and see if any of these work for you. Or share with me how you’ve calmed your little bundle of
fuss, I mean joy!