Children can get irritable for a lot of reasons, and nobody likes dealing with a child that is throwing a tantrum. In this article we’ll go over a few tips and tricks to calm down a child and restore the peace wherever you might be.
Use Headphones under $100 to Distract with Music
Sometimes over-stimulation is the cause of a child’s bad mood or uncooperative behavior. Especially if you are somewhere loud it can be overwhelming for little ears. So a good trick my friend introduced me to is to have a pair of headphones and a device with a few calming songs (ie. your phone, an iPad or iPod) that you can have your child put on. If they are the noise-cancelling sort of headphones, even better. Now kids aren’t always responsible with taking care of expensive equipment, so here is a list of the best headphones available for under $100: http://bestgear.org/5-best-headphones-under-100/. If your child doesn’t respond to music, you can always have them put the headphones on and play an age-appropriate video game as well.
If you’re child is still quite young, this might be a good solution. The womb feels like an all over hug to your baby. It is close to them on every side, and they feel protected and safe. When they leave the womb, they can stretch out for the first time in their lives, but this freedom can be frightening; imagine if you suddenly got a whole new sense! Also, small babies can have trouble controlling their limbs, especially as they fall asleep. Swaddling can prevent a twitchy arm from whacking a dozing baby and waking them up.
To swaddle your fussy child, lay out a blanket and fold it so that it is a triangular shape. Lay the baby with their head above the fold, more to one side of the triangle than the other. Hold their arm close to their body as you fold the short side of the blanket across their body. Make it snug, and tuck it in beneath the baby. Not fold the long side around until it goes all the way around the baby. Again, snug is good!
Touch is very soothing to babies. To practice infant massage on your baby, take them into a warm room and undress them down to their diaper. You should lay them on a soft surface or hold them on your lap. Pour some baby oil or baby massage lotion into your hands and let it warm up before you touch the baby with it. Baby massage is not the same as adult massage. Rather than working on knots, the goal is to comfort your baby with a soothing touch. Make circular motions on their backs and tummies, rub up and down their arms and legs in long strokes, and speak softly and lovingly. It is a great way to bond, and infant massage can calm babies experiencing mild pain as from gas or even teething.
For older children you can give them a hug and rub a hand slowly up and down their back to help calm them. This is especially effective to calm their breathing down if they have been crying or screaming.
Even when it seems quiet to us, there is often a lot going on for our little ones to notice. If you need fussy baby relief, consider the noise both inside and out of your home. Are there noises that can startle your baby? A loud phone ringing? A dog barking? Loud TV or radio blaring? You are used to these noises, but your baby is used to the white noise of the womb, and the extreme quiet or strange sounds can be disorienting. Playing white noise cd’s or machines can drown out the din. Your baby will be comforted in no time. This is also useful for older children who have trouble falling asleep at night.
Make Meals Routine
Make mealtime a family tradition. Many times when a child sees other people in the family eating they will mimic the behavior. Whenever possible trying to have the consistency to the time of day that meals take place is also extremely helpful. This is because children respond best to routine activities. Certainly, some fluctuation is normal, but trying to stick to a schedule will enable the child to understand that eating should be a regular occurrence for them. They are less likely to have melt-downs in the supermarket because they want something, they know that this is not meal time.
When your child is fussy, there is almost nothing that you will not do to calm him or her down and get them back to being the happy, giggling being that you know they are meant to be. Hopefully you will find some of these suggestions useful!