There are few methods to release the calming chemical in a baby’s brain in a way that can drop stress chemicals level. These are:
1. Touch and Massage:
Most babies will stop crying if they are picked up. Close bodily contact regulates their bodily arousal system, activating the calm branch.
Help my child to find her fist or thumb to suck or offer my fingers. If my child is absolutely inconsolable, then, and only then, use a dummy. I will never use it as a plug when she is not distressed. Else, I can end up feeling ruled by the dummy because my child won’t go anywhere without it.
Keep the room temperature at about 21°C. Hold baby cuddled close to my body or snuggled in a flannelette sheet and the warmth will trigger oxytocin release. Sometimes, I could get in a warm bath with a stressed-out newborn.
4. Movement and Rocking
Babies love rhythmical movement, particularly being carried around, being pushed in the pram, or being in the car. It is thought that the rhythm triggers associations of being carried around in the security of the womb. However, I will make sure that I do not rock too hard, as this can have the same effect on the brain as shaking which can cause burst blood vessels.
Let my baby listen to the washing machine or spin dryer, as the sound is evocative of the security of the womb.
6. Avoid Over-stimulation
If I think my child is over-stimulated, I will take her with me into a quiet, low-lit room.
I read that about one in five healthy babies is highly sensitive in the first few weeks. These hard-to-comfort babies can be like this due to generic make-up, stress in the womb, or a difficult birth. If a mother is repeatedly stressed in the last 3months of pregnancy, high levels of the stress chemicals can be transmitted through the placenta into the brain of the unborn child. So, it is vitally important to get as much soothing and comfort during pregnancy. Because I have lots of stress, once my baby is born, I have a baby who cries more. When having a hard-to-comfort baby, she will need a lot of soothing and comforting and to do that I will need soothing and comforting, too from family and friends.
It can be totally excusing when I am endlessly comforting a distressed child who just won’t stop crying. When I have tried everything but feel demoralised, my husband will remind me that “this shall pass”. This phase usually last for first few months and not a life sentence.