What can cause a baby to be fussy?
Have you ever tried to soothe a fussy baby and nothing seemed to work? When a baby gets fussy often their caretakers become stressed. The babies then pick up on this stress via the mirror neuron pathways in the brain. What this means is that the more stressed the adult gets, the fussier the baby is going to get.
How to calm a fussy baby:
The #1 trick to calm a fussy baby is to first focus on calming yourself.
First, you need to focus on your breathing. There is a proper way to deep breath that can actually calm your brain and body. You need to 1. take a deep breath in through your nose and 2. breath out through your mouth-but SLOWLY…like really slowly. You can even do this breathing out loud and the baby will hear this and they will start to align their breathing with the adults breathing, which will calm them too. Repeat the deep breathing over and over again. Notice how your body is feeling. Is your body feeling tight and tense or are your muscles loose and relaxed?
Second, you need to SLOW DOWN the rocking, jiggling, bouncing, or patting that you are doing with your baby. When you rock a baby you should move to the rhythm of a heartbeat. Most times when caretakers are stressed, they start rocking faster and faster because they are getting stressed. This actually makes the baby fussier.
Third, pay attention to the sensory information in the room. What are you smelling, touching, tasting, seeing, and hearing. Do you like these things or is there something in the room that is bothering you? Chances are if it is bothering you it is bothering your baby.
Fourth, try to observe over time the types of sensory input that may make your baby fussy. Does your baby get fussy every time you wear a certain perfume? Is the music in the room to loud? Is your baby hot or cold? Are the lights to bright or is there not enough natural light and only artificial lighting in the room? Are there to many stimulating toys and high contrasting pictures in the room?
Check out my other blog post “The Ultimate Calming Bedtime Routine” for more tips on how to create a calm environment to prevent your baby from getting overly tired and fussy.