As some of you may know, Sam and I have twin two year olds (Ava and Eleanor) and a two month-old (Greta). Ava and Eleanor were pretty fussy babies (or maybe it was just that there were two of them). Either way, it lit a fire under us to quickly learn how to calm them before it got out of hand. Same goes for Greta now. With 3 kids that are constantly needing something, we need a few things ready to try to help calm Greta down before one of the twins hits the other and a single fuss turns into a trifecta of meltdowns. It's all a juggling act, isn't it mommas?
I have made a list of the 10 things Sam and I always try when we have a potential newborn meltdown situation.
I am getting the easy ones out of the way. I usually try this one first. The sucking reflex is extremely relaxing for newborns. If it’s been over an hour since baby last ate, she could be cluster feeding or going through a growth spurt. Either way, feed that sweet baby!
- Diaper change
Another easy one. Sometimes I will change Greta even if she’s not too wet. Something could be uncomfortable - the straps could be rubbing, the lining could be riding, etc.
- Skin to skin
I personally love this one! Strip baby down, take your shirt off, lay baby on your chest, and put a blanket over the two of you. It’s so great for your milk production, your heart and your baby’s connection with you. Babies and parents LOVE a good skin to skin session.
Another favorite of mine that works so well! Get a velcro swaddle and swaddle baby’s arms to his sides, super tight! Most babies will LOVE this. Bonus tip: sometimes we incorporate the “double swaddle.” Use a traditional swaddle with a lightweight blanket, then “double swaddle” with a velcro swaddle over the top.
I don't know what it is, but taking sweet baby Greta outside almost always makes her stop crying! Maybe it’s the sun shining in her eyes that takes her by surprise, or the wind that gently blows across her face that kind of 'wakes' her up. But ALWAYS try this one!
- Bicycle kicks
Sometimes babies get gassy. Holding his feet and pushing his legs like he is riding a bike can help pass some gas he may be holding in. Lovely thing it is being a mommy :)
This is my husband’s go-to. Even if it's been an hour since eating, he will pat baby’s backs until something happens. And usually it does. I think it’s a sympathy maneuver for Sam ;)
- Stroller or car ride
This was our “go-to” for our twins. When I was home alone with Ava and Eleanor and I couldn't hold them both, I would put them in the double stroller and push them around the block. When the weather didn’t cooperate, I pushed them around our house (desperate times!). Car rides are great to try, too! But sometimes the screaming baby in the back makes for a super-stressed driver.
- White noise
Get a white noise machine! Just do it. Or you can turn the vacuum on and stand right next to it. Or download a (free!) white noise app on your phone. If none of these are at your disposal, try putting your mouth right by your baby’s ear and shushing.
- Walk around
I never stopped walking when the twins were newborns (okay, I still don’t). They HATED when I would sit down. Especially when about 6:00 pm hit. I would just walk circles around the island in my kitchen.
There have been times where I have tried every single one of these and finally something works. It's all trial and error until they can communicate!
Guys, you are doing so great! Mommin' (and Daddin’) ain't easy. If you are reading how to help your baby, you are probably already doing a really awesome job.