I have extensive knowledge and experience in reading infants’ behavior and language. Infants communicate differently during the first few months of life. It is difficult to write down and explain just on paper. It really requires me to show you in person what strategies there are, but also what works best for your baby. We know not all babies are created equally and respond differently. If you have a fussy or colicky baby, that means some need isn’t being met to some capacity. It can be an internal (gassy baby, poor digestion, hunger, teething, etc.), or external (swaddling needs, room temperature, rocking needs, needs for caregiver, quiet time, etc.).
Infants can easily become disorganized. This means that they have difficulties calming themselves down, adjusting to changes in the environment, or regulating their behavior throughout the day. Disorganization can look like the following behaviors:
- Excessive crying (colicky behaviors)
- Increased or decreased sleeping
- Feeding difficulties
- Poor ability to self soothe
- Rarely quiet and alert
- Inability to be put down
- Unable to stay asleep
- Disinterested in faces or toys
- Quick transitions from happy to sad state
There are primitive wired ways that help infants to calm and “organize”. When I say “organize” for an infant, that means that the infant has all his or her needs met, and they are calm and alert, drowsy or calm and alert and ready to eat, or able to achieve a sleep state. There are tons of other ways that an organized infant can present, but we will keep it simple for now.
As an infant, there are certain sensations, movements, input, and handling that mimics the womb and encourages the release of calming hormones to the brain. It is very primitive in nature. Let me give you an example. When you are crying or distraught about something, what helps to calm you down? Thinking about when someone talks to you in a soothing voice or gives you a big or tight hug. Do you feel your body relax? Do you notice your breathing slows? Are you able to focus more? The pressure and input helps your body to calm and regulate from those external supports.
Here is another example. Think about the recent weighted blanket trends. We as OTs have been utilizing those methods and blankets for years prior to the recent increase of awareness of these blankets. The blankets help our bodies to organize or regulate from the deep pressure and sensation along our muscles, skin, and joints. You as a caregiver, can be the “blanket” for your infant.
What do I mean by this?
There are various tools that you can learn as a caregiver that are SPECFIC to your infants sensory, motor, and neurological system to help them organize.
I have an overflowing toolbelt that I would love to share with you if you are struggling with helping your infant to calm. Colicky and fussy babies can be exhausting and/or difficult to figure how or what can help them. I specialize in this at the hospital I work at as well. You are a great caregiver, utilize my support to help you out. I can streamline a care plan with you based on your goals and infants needs. It would be my honor to help you out. Reach out to me and we can collaborate!