Congratulations new parents, you are now on the ride of a lifetime, raising a new little human. The Australian Bureau of Statistics informs us there were 309,996 new births registered last year, so you are not alone in this. It’s a joyous time, but we all know there are difficult moments, too. Babies cry, loudly, and sometimes they just won’t settle down despite your best efforts. This can be as upsetting to the parents as much as it is to the baby, so let’s examine two ways to help your new bundle of joy relax so you can, too!
Massage – It works great for grown-ups, so why not babies? Baby massage is growing in popularity because it delivers results. Getting a gentle massage from loving hands is very soothing for babies. A comfortably warm room and slow, gentle, strokes are key. Some people ask if they can use coconut oil for baby massage because of its health benefits, but it’s not really right for infant massage. Australian Paediatric Massage Consultants suggest pure cold pressed oils are the best way to go, their texture is lighter and they can be absorbed by the skin more easily. Massage is a wonderful way to bond with your baby, you will both feel better for it! Then, once your baby is resting comfortably after their massage, maybe you can get one, too! I’m looking at you, loving partner! Get to it!
Music – We have all heard the old saying, “music soothes the savage beast”, and of course, your baby is in no way a savage beast, but sometimes the noises they produce… well, we might be forgiven for suggesting that they sure can sound like one! In any case, like many old sayings there is some truth in it, music has been proven to help fussy babies calm down. Music doesn’t just soothe, it has other beneficial effects on baby’s brain processes as well, helping the baby to communicate, connect, coordinate, feel pleasure, and even move. Sometimes babies will giggle in delight when music is played, and even dance along by kicking their feet and moving their arms up and down. Music combined with song can also improve language skills, sometimes baby’s first words aren’t momma or dada, they’re song lyrics.
That’s all a lot of fun, but when it’s finally time to go to sleep we need to change the tune, and the greatest hits for that purpose are called lullabies. This is a practice that goes back, well, forever, and it’s stood the test of time because it works. Playing a recording, or better yet, singing a lullaby yourself calms and relaxes even crying, fussy babies, and eventually lulls them to sleep. A sound sleep helps babies stay happy, alert, active, and engaged when they are awake. It also helps tired parents get the rest they need so badly.