5 tips to calm an anxious infant

July 29, 2019

Seeing as babies do not have fully developed cognitive and sensory functions, it might seem impossible for babies to have cases of anxiety. However, it has been proven that infants can also be affected by stress, which makes them fussy. 

Their brains can pick up on the stress levels of their parents and act on it. An unfamiliar space can also trigger their anxiety with loud noises and bright lights, which can cause overstimulation. 

Apart from the psychological stress waves they are picking up from their parents and an unfamiliar environment, medical conditions can also cause infants to become restless. 

Try calming an anxious infant by following these tips;

Initiate skin-to-skin contact 

Placing your child’s skin directly on yours can soothe your baby as this action reinforces the bond between you and your baby. Place the baby face down on your chest and keep yourself calm. You can pat or rub your baby’s back gently. 

Listening to your heartbeat and the gentle motion of your breathing can help them relax. You can also feed them in this position if it is time for them to eat.

Swaddle your infant

Sometimes the warm and secure feeling that being swaddled creates is enough to soothe your infant’s anxiety. Get a fairly thick cloth and wrap your baby up and ensure that the swaddle is snug without being constricting. 

It is advisable to learn how to wrap your baby correctly so as not to cause complications. You can also put the baby in a sling or a baby carrier and let them rest on your chest. 

Rocking motion

Rocking your baby can produce an instant calming effect on them. This is because the gentle back and forth motion is lulling, making them relax their muscles and get calm. You can rock your baby through the use of a rocking chair or walking with a slight sway. 

Sometimes merely standing up with your child in your arms is enough to calm them. You can decide to sing a lullaby or play some white noise to create a calm atmosphere; this will also influence your child’s mood.

Go for a short drive

The gentle breeze blowing through the window and the humming of a car’s engine can be soothing for your child. Just going out of the house and taking a short drive can be calming for both you and the baby. 

Most times, your child will end up falling asleep. If this happens, lift the baby capsule out of the car instead of lifting the baby out of the capsule so as to reduce the risk of waking them up.

Consult a health professional

Your child might be acting fussy because something is going on in their body system. If you have tried all the soothing measures and your baby is still in distress, it is advisable to contact a physician and get professional medical advice. 

Your child might be teething, dealing with colic or experiencing other illnesses that could be causing them pain. Getting medical help will help you to know the necessary medication to give, and you will be assured that your baby is getting the right support that they need. 

Seeing as infants can get anxious because they are picking up on their parent’s anxiety, calming yourself is an excellent way to soothe your baby. Take a break from holding your crying baby and make yourself calm. 

You can do this by listening to music, doing yoga, cleaning or simply breathing deeply for a few minutes. Once your mind has been sufficiently cleared, and you feel at ease, pick up your baby and smile as you pacify him. 

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