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5 Ways Dads Can Soothe The Baby

By Subodini Menon

Taking care of a baby is typically thought to be the mother's job. It is probably easier for the mother to soothe the baby faster because of the special bond she shares with her child.

The mother can often instinctively feel what is wrong with the baby and what must be done to soothe the baby. She also has breast milk at her disposal. But with the father being around, things can be a bit different and difficult.

Most mothers start feeling the connection with the baby when the baby is in the womb. It is much harder for a father to mould himself into this new role he is faced with. No matter how much time he has had for preparation, he would still be at sea when it comes to taking care of this tiny being.

But, these days, nuclear families are more common. The mother and the father are often left on their own when it comes to raising their baby. The grandparents rarely stay with the new parents, and paid help may not be always available. If the mother is indisposed due to any reason, it is up to the father to take care of the baby.

Babies can be very fussy, especially during the first few months of their lives. They cry... a lot. They often suffer from a lot of discomfort and may also fall sick quite frequently.

Colic is a common condition that makes the babies feel uncomfortable for a prolonged period of time. Babies may cry a lot when they suffer from colic. Each growth spurt will bring with it a new challenge.

Rolling over, teething and other periods will be especially difficult. It will be beneficial if the dad also knows how to soothe a baby. It will help the dad bond with the baby better and will also give the mom a much needed time to rest.

So, the dads reading this article, sit up and pay attention to the tricks you can use to comfort your baby.

Find Out What Is Wrong

If your baby seems to be uncomfortable or is crying uncontrollably, check for these three things:

1. See if the baby is hungry.

2. Check if the baby has a wet or dirty nappy.

3. Try to get your baby to burp.

If your baby is teething or undergoing other phases of growth spurts, these things may not help in soothing your baby.

Give Them Your Finger

If the above-mentioned things do not solve the problem, offer your clean finger to the baby. He/she may suck on it or even chew it if he/she is teething. The chewing helps relieve the pain in their gums. Just be sure to wash your hands clean. Dry them on a clean towel. Offer your little finger to them with the finger upturned. This way, your nails will not scratch the baby's palate.

Use Distraction

Walk him/her around the house or if that does not work, take him/her out of the house and show him/her around. Point various things out to the baby. If the baby has a favorite toy, offer it to him/her. Sometimes, a video of rhymes may catch his attention or at other times, it may be a colourful bird that helps stop his tears. Try and distract your baby and this might cause him/her to forget the reason of his/her discomfort.

Swing And Rock Your Baby

Swinging and rocking motions mimic the motions the baby was used to in his/her mother's womb. You may try to gently rock and swing your baby. Be sure that the motion is not too vigorous and is repetitive. Humming a tune in a rhythm that matches your rocking will help your baby slide into a slumber soon.

Try White Noise

Contrary to the popular notion that the babies are used to silence, they are calmed by the presence of white noise. The mother's womb is not a silent place. The baby constantly listens to the heart thud, the blood rush through the veins and the stomach gurgle, as it digests the food. So, silence may not help the baby much. White noises such as the sound of the fan, the air conditioner, the hair dryer or the vacuum cleaner may help calm your baby down. Switch one of these appliances on in the background and watch your baby calm down in no time at all.

Read more about: baby parenting
Story first published: Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 12:27 [IST]
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