What needs to be done to calm a newborn baby? According to a recent study, the simplest way is enough: to recreate the same sensations in him that he had when he was in the womb. Because even then his five senses were working, and bringing him back to the same conditions can help: think that your little one has been for 40 weeks in a quiet, warm and dark place, and suddenly has been catapulted into a bright, noisy world with large open spaces. (You may be interested in The 5 Ss to Quiet Newborn Crying)
It is natural that the baby sometimes feels lost, and therefore making him feel, through all five senses, the same sensations to which he was used is, according to the most recent studies, the best way to calm him.
How? For example, if you are breastfeeding, keep eating the same foods as before so they get the same nutrients. Or using a vanilla scented pacifier. Or by talking to him or massaging him holding him tight to you.
Why, explains Lise Eliot, associate professor of Neuroscience at Chicago Medical School and author of "What's Going on in There ?: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life". minds develop in the first five years of life ")," children adapt quickly to new situations, especially when they are given the opportunity to experience the same sensations they were used to in the womb ".
Here then are the 15 tips to make him feel good elaborated by fitpregnancy.com and categorized according to the sense to be stimulated.
It is the first of the five senses to develop during pregnancy, and babies use it to begin exploring their bodies before birth. During the third trimester they are also able to feel the touch of the mother's hand on the belly (recommended starting from this period, with light and circular massages around the navel, to get the baby accustomed to the mother's touch).
2. Rock him skin to skin
Babies, Eliot explains, "seek human contact," and the best way to give it to them is to hold them skin to skin, a method also called "kangaroo care." According to experts, the baby's contact with the mother's bare skin helps him to recreate the sensations of the womb: he feels the beating of his mother's heart, is in close contact with his mother and stays warm. According to a Vanderbilt University study, bare-skinned babies breathe better and cry less. Even if their dad is rocking them.
3. Massage it
Every time you place it in the crib, give the baby a massage. It only takes two minutes: lay it on your stomach and gently massage your shoulders, back, arms and legs for one minute. Then turn him around and for another minute extend and flex his legs and arms. This massage helps him improve muscle tone and soothes him. (Read also Baby massage, how to do it and why)
In the second trimester of intrauterine life, the baby tastes the amniotic fluid that surrounds it. And Julie Mennella, a biopsychologist at the Monell Chemical Sciences Center at the University of Chicago, explains that "we know that what mom eats (fruit, vegetables, but also strong-tasting foods like garlic, onion and vanilla) alters the taste of amniotic fluid. and breast milk ". This means that, once born, the baby will find solace in the same familiar flavors. (Read also Diet during pregnancy)
5. Continue on the same diet
Even after giving birth, you eat the same things you ate during pregnancy. In this way, the little ones, through their mother's milk, will continue to experience the same taste sensations. (Read tips on proteins, sugars, fruits and vegetables, omega 3 and drinks to prefer during pregnancy)
6. The perfumed pacifier
If you're not breastfeeding, don't despair - you can always try a vanilla-scented pacifier.
At 18 weeks of gestation, the fetus begins to hear sounds, and at 36 weeks it actively listens to the noises around it. That is above all the noises produced by the mother's body: the heart, the circulation, the digestion, the voice. And she hears what her mother hears, such as the pope's voice. (You may be interested in What the fetus feels in the belly)
8. Talk to the child
Your familiar voice, as well as your smell and touch, is a consolation to the baby. Babies, probably because it resembles the gurgle of blood circulating in veins and arteries, also particularly love white noise (to be clear: that of TV when a channel is not tuned and you see black and white dots). (Read also Pampering the baby in the belly)
9. Keep the volume down
Even if a child's hearing is less developed than an adult's, their ear is still vulnerable to loud noises. And he's used to the muffled sounds heard in the womb. So, at least for the first months of life, avoid exposing your baby to excessive noise.
The fetus' sense of smell develops from 15 weeks of pregnancy, and in the third trimester it smells odors that it will remember even when it is born. According to a study by the European Center for Taste Science, children whose mothers ate biscuits flavored with anise and licorice, when they come into the world, to find comfort, they look for the same smells. And the smell of mom's skin is soothing too.
At birth, the baby is covered in a whitish substance called vernix. Ask not to remove it completely: its smell will be a familiar comfort for the baby in the first hours after giving birth.
12. No perfumes
The mother should avoid masking her scent with perfumes and deodorants, to keep the scent familiar to the baby. And even when you go out and leave your little one with a babysitter, give her a cloth with your scent (perhaps a handkerchief you kept in your bra, in contact with your skin) so that the baby has a familiar smell next to it.
The eyes of the fetus are closed until the 26th week of pregnancy. But when he opens them, despite the womb being obviously dark, according to a study published in Developmental Psychobiology, it filters in enough light to allow him to see the movement of his hands and legs. And, while pregnant, the little one turns to the sources of light that appear in his "world" inside the mother's womb, when he is born he seems programmed to look at a single source of light: the mother's face.
14. Brilliant colors
An agitated child may simply be bored and in need of sensory stimulation. And babies, explains Dr. Eliot, "are basically able to distinguish only bright colors." So the pastel shades used for everything "newborn" are wasted: babies cannot distinguish a colored object with a soft tint against an equally soft background, they need contrasting colors. So an object, to arouse their interest, has to be in strong colors: bright yellow, red, orange.
15. Eye contact
To calm a newborn baby, stop whatever else you are doing and plant your eyes on his. Look at it directly. His vision is blurred, but he is still able to understand that his mother is watching him with all her attention. And the visual connection is soothing.
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