Best Ways To Soothe Your Child
Looking for some ways to soothe your child?
When our children are born we seem to innately know his or her needs. My mom used to say, a baby is: sleepy, hungry, poopy or uncomfortable. If he or she is crying, address one of those.
Most of the time, mom or dad instinctively knows exactly what the issue is and how to solve it. But sometimes, it is not that easy. For example: Did you catch the nebulous description, “when a baby is uncomfortable”? The easy, go to fixes are things like wrapping your baby up in a burrito blanket, rocking, bouncing, moving their legs up and down to massage the intestines, holding close to the bosom or rubbing the tummy. These are common and repetitive movements that soothe all babies.
But what do we try next if those don’t work? First, consult your pediatrician! Then, use the following techniques, not only for babies 0-5 but also your older kiddos, ages 5-10.
I do not claim to be an expert, but based on my own experiences plus what I have learned from my sisters and good friends who are therapists of one sort or another, comfort is all about addressing the senses and/or diet.
When babies are born, they are similar to a new bloom on a flower. Their senses are heightened and they are extremely sensitive to loud noises, sudden movement, touch, temperature, and pressure on the body. Their sense of smell is developed but they much prefer the smell of mom. When they come out of the womb, it is like they are coming from another planet. It takes awhile for babies to fully integrate into this world. According to the book, The General Theory of Love, it takes babies about 1 year to fully integrate into this world.
Sometimes the senses don’t develop all the way, the brain is wired differently or the brain synapses don’t fully connect. All too often these days, we start to see patterns emerge that are connected to Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, Aspergers, and ADHD.
Regardless of your child’s development, I have found the following may help you soothe your child:
Apply Deep Tactile Pressure: When you cannot sit still, it may mean too much sugar or perhaps your proprioceptors are not firing. Deep tactile pressure like a weighted blanket, weighted Vest or light pressure on the legs, hips or shoulders help to connect the proprioceptors and brings comfort.
Limit Auditory Input: If there are too many sounds happening at once, it may cause sensory overload. Normally, we can select the sounds that we listen to but babies and those with SPD listen to all the sounds. Depending on the individual, they either hear all the sounds jumbling together and cannot make sense of it or they can gather information from each sound and become overwhelmed with too much input.
The idea here is to block or isolate sounds with audio devices like Lucid Audio’s HearMuffs™. HearMuffs for infants, 0-5 and Kids HearMuffs, 5-10. HearMuffs have Advanced Hearing Protection and Unique Kid-Approved Features including active compression of harmful sounds, the unique ability to let in outside voices at a comfortable level and the choice to play four soothing sounds or watch any kind of media source.
Movement: Movement addresses the vestibular system responsible for sensory information about motion, equilibrium, and spatial orientation. Try swinging, laying on an exercise ball and rolling back and forth, spinning or for older kids martial arts help.
Oral Input, this is the fastest to satisfy the sensory system. Try teething rings, chewing gum, or rubber tubing (nontoxic).
I hope these ideas help you. Please add your ideas for soothing a child. I will add them to my list of tried and true.