baby-wearing fussy crying baby how to calm a baby colic baby carrier, baby wrap
Whenever anyone I know has a baby, I run out and buy “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr. Harvey Kent. This has been by far the most useful parenting book that I have read, and I have read many. The purpose of the book is to teach parents how to calm fussy, crying, and colicky newborns. For the first three months of their lives, babies go through what Kent calls “the fourth trimester” where they still long for the sensations they’re accustomed to in the womb such as the motion, the tight feel, and the sounds. In order to provide this to our babies, Kent lets us in on the secret of the 5 S’s: shushing, swaddling, sucking, side/stomach, and swinging/rocking. (This is actually why a car ride is such popular advice.) And when you need real reinforcements, you combine all five for something called “the cuddle cure”.
I’ve never needed to break out the cuddle cure for my baby, but each of the 5 S’s has worked to calm my crying baby at one point or another. That being said, my secret recipe for a fuss-free baby that combines a few of the book’s tricks has been baby-wearing. Here’s how it works:
When your little one’s strapped onto you, she can spend hours in that gentle rocking motion as you move around going about your day. What can be more womb-like than that? All of those little jiggles keep her calm and happy as she drifts in and out of sleep. When my daughter looked like she needed a little stimulation, I would wear her in the cradle-bug position so that she could look out the side with her head still supported, and she would calmly absorb the world around her.
Swaddling works because your baby is accustomed to the tight feel of the womb, they also may need their little arms secured so that they don’t startle themselves through involuntary motion. Baby-wearing keeps your baby nice and wrapped up. His body temperature is also just right by being pressed up against you. To up the ante, you can wear your baby skin-to-skin which is super nice for both the baby and the parent (yes, dads too.)
According to “The Happiest Baby”, and confirmed through my own experience, babies are calmed by a loud, shushing white noise. It reminds them of the sounds they heard while in the womb – the mom’s heartbeat, blood rushing through the vessels, and the other organs working away. Baby-wearing allows your baby to press his ear right against his parent’s chest hearing the heartbeat, the blood flow, breathing and other sounds which make him feel cozy and secure.
You can provide your baby with a little extra comfort by breastfeeding (or giving a pacifier) which is very easy to do while baby-wearing. You can also breastfeed your baby while on walks without even having to look for a place to pause.
Side / stomach
Overtime, you will notice that your baby prefers to be in certain positions over others. It can actually be quite interesting to see your baby suddenly stop crying when you turn her over just the right way. While baby-wearing doesn’t exactly allow you to carry your baby in those positions, there are many options that would be comfortable for her. She’ll also enjoy having her tummy or side pressed up against you which is like a little soothing touch.
With my secret recipe of baby-wearing, the “fourth trimester” was joyful and serene. It helped that I was able to take my little sweetheart on a daily walk in my wrap. I even carried her skin-to-skin, even though it was cold out, with a warm coat over the both of us. Overtime, as she stopped needing the 5 S’s and the womb-like sensations to be calm, I kept using baby-wearing for learning and stimulation. I still use my wrap to take her on a nice long walk, which is still very calming. It’s just that now, it’s calming for me.
For more information about baby-wearing, check out The Breezy Wrap page