Babies are individuals, and some babies will naturally be more outgoing than others. Just like other people no two people are the same, so while something works for some babies other babies will dislike it- thus a certain amount of this needs to be trial and error.
When babies are really young a lot of what they do is sleep, eat, and poop/pee repeat. They are typically comforted by things that are familiar to them. Things that remind them of the womb are often the things that comfort them best, these include skin to skin contact, baby wearing, dim lighting, and feeling cuddled.
Skin to skin on mama’s chest is often the favorite place of a new baby, and even older babies. Babies can hear mama’s heartbeat and breathing, feel her warmth, and smell her smell. These are all things that baby heard and felt in utero. Undress baby down to the diaper and lay baby on mama’s bare chest. If desired cover with a blanket. This position helps regulate a baby’s nervous system improving temperature control, facilitates breastfeeding, and encourages bonding.
Babywearing is also great for these things because there is clothing between baby and caregiver- some benefits of direct skin to skin are lost, but there are other benefits. Babywearing can create a nice cozy feeling for baby- reminiscent of the womb. It allows a mother or caregiver to be active- and keep baby close- dishes and laundry always need to be done. This movement challenges the vestibular system and has benefits for baby. Baby also feels involved and develops trust. Beyond keeping baby happy there are numerous benefits of babywearing.
As babies grow and develop their needs and wants change. Remember to follow their cues. Babies can’t verbally tell you what they want and/or need but they certainly can communicate.
Hungry +Angry = “Hangry”
Have you ever been “hangry”? When you are hungry and angry? Babies get that way too. When they are hungry, they get distressed and crabby. It is a lot easier to feed a baby when he or she is showing early hunger cues opposed to crying uncontrollably. So feed your baby and feed yourself everyone will be happier.
Another culprit of crabby babies and crabby parents is sleep deprivation. Babies get tired and need naps- it may seem counter-intuitive but sleep begets sleep. If your baby gets overtired he or she will not sleep as well and be as rested as when he or she is encouraged so sleep when tired. Kids, especially, experience a paradoxical effect of fatigue: when they are over tired they become wired.
Safety & Comfort
Taking care of a baby is a big responsibility, but over thinking it certainly will not help. The majority of what keeps a baby happy is what makes them feel safe and comfortable. Enjoy your baby, the days can seem endless, but someday you will look at your big kid and wonder what happened to the tiny baby. Of course this sentiment is hard to remember at 2:30 in the morning and your baby is interested in chatting.
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