Those first few weeks getting to know your baby can be a very overwhelming time. Your baby may cry a lot and you may find this difficult to deal with, especially if you are feeling very tired and recovering after giving birth. Here are a few tips that I have put together, that I found helped me when I became a mother, and have helped the mums I have cared for since working at One to One Midwives.
Hold your baby skin to skin
Skin to skin contact reduces stress levels for both mother and baby. Skin to skin contact is also great for dads.
Allow your baby sucking time
Allow your baby sucking time. Offer a clean finger for your baby to suck on for a minute or two. Sucking is a way babies sooth themselves.
Give a taste
Hand express milk from the nipple for your baby to taste or dribble milk over the nipple to entice your baby to the breast.
Pick up your baby, rock, walk, bounce or dance. Babies are used to constant motion whilst in your womb. Proving motion reminds them of ‘home’. Wearing your baby in a sling/carrier is a great way to keep your baby happy and your hands free.
Wrap your baby for a little while in a suitable swaddle sheet. Check your baby’s skin temperature by feeling her tummy and make sure she is not too hot or too cool.
Babies are sensitive to your stress levels. If you are feeling stressed and your baby will not settle with you- try asking dad or a relative to hold and walk with your baby to try settle them so you can take a break and calm.
Reduce the stimulation
Too much stimulation, for too long can be overwhelming for babies. Dim the lights, avoid loud sounds and give your baby a break from visitors by keeping them at bay until your baby has settled into their new environment.
Massage your baby
Light touch massage using a natural ‘nut free; oil such as olive oil after a warm bath can really help relax your baby and is great to bring up stubborn wind.
Burp your baby or bicycle his legs
Maybe there is a burp that needs to come up or gas that needs to go down.
Share a warm bath with your baby with dim lighting. Your baby will recognise the feel and sounds of the warm water alongside the sound of your heart beating next to her chest just as though they are back in your womb.
Early feeding cues
Feed your baby before the last feeding cue.
Do something different
If none of these solutions work- try distracting your baby by singing, humming or blowing in their face. Go for a walk outside in the garden or try a walk in their pram.
Post by One to One Midwife, Michelle Ryan.