Because we take care of more than one baby at a time, it is important for our preschool to have a class of happy babies. Happy babies are excited to be held and smile with you, then quickly find something fun to do when you set them down. Happy babies love to be cuddled with their bottle before sleep, and drift into a deep slumber by themselves in their crib. Happy babies love that diaper changes are special one on one time where they get to see their caregiver’s face, sing songs, and be part of the process. Happy babies know their limits, and have boundaries that keep them safe.
But what about when the babies aren’t happy?
In a room of infants, one crying baby can quickly turn into 2 or 3, and several frustrated caregivers closer to their limit. It is important to soothe these babies quickly and efficiently. We love using the 5S’s to settle an unhappy baby.
Babies love to be swaddled. If a baby is feeling out of sorts, reminding them of their cozy womb can be so comforting for them. They may be fussy getting into the swaddle, but once they are nice and tight they are typically much happier.
Babies have a natural instinct to suck. Offer them a pacifier or their bottle. The sucking motion naturally calms and soothes the baby.
Position the baby over your arm, or lay them on their stomach. Swinging side to side, or bouncing up and down, this position can put pressure on their stomach that can make them more comfortable.
Motion is a baby’s friend. Swing gently back and forth, up and down, side to side, find the rhythm that works for you and the baby.
The womb was so loud with water and muffled voices echoing. Remind the baby of that comfortable space by making long and low “shhhhhhh” sounds.
It is important to breathe, relax, and find calmness where you can. If these 5S’s aren’t working look to the baby’s personal needs. Are they hungry? Is their diaper clean and fresh? Do they have consistent boundaries? Do they need something fun to do? Asking these questions can help you find a quick answer to the baby’s request. Crying is one of the few ways a baby can communicate, it’s up to the caregiver to determine what they are asking for, and provide them the comfort and security of answering their request.