You've been there. You are just about to drift off to sleep and then your baby belts out her "Mommy?!" cry. She was just asleep and all you did was put her down then she woke up. What can you do to get her back to sleep before you tear your hair out?
Step One: Take a Deep Breath
It's as simple as that. Make sure you are calm before you handle your child. If you are tense, she will sense it and just scream louder. If you are unable to calm yourself immediately, set your baby down, go grab a drink of water, and just breathe for a minute. You can then go back upstairs and handle it. A few seconds of crying will not hurt her; you snapping out of frustration can. Remember it is okay to vent your frustration, sometimes you need to scream, but never shake your baby or hit her. It will not get her to listen to your pleas. If you find yourself about to get violent, remove yourself from the situation until you calm down. A tense mommy makes a tense baby.
Step Two: Change Baby's Diaper
Sometimes your baby is just uncomfortable and needs her diaper changed. You wouldn't like to lay in something wet, neither does your baby. Do not turn on the lights while changing her. You can use a night light but anything brighter will stimulate her and just make her more alert. You should talk to her in a whisper or sing a lullabye to her. Your voice is soothing to her and talking to her lets her know that she is safe and not alone.
Step Three: Turn On The Music
Quiet, soft music is very soothing to a baby. Do not turn the volume up to cover her screams; she will just scream louder. Put your child chest against chest on you and pat her back in time with the music. She may begin to quiet in order to hear the music and your heartbeat. This position also allows her to feel secure and warm. It may be enough to lull her to sleep.
Step Four: Top Her Off
If nothing seems to be working, she may just be hungry still. Even if you did just feed her, she may not feel satisfied. An additional five or so minutes of feeding may save your sanity. If this is what is wrong then she will most likely fall asleep while feeding and pop off the breast or bottle. Do not fret if this is not the issue.
Step Five: Burp the Baby
If nothing, not even feeding, seems to be working, then she may just be gassy. Give her some gas drops and burp her. Gas bubbles that have traveled down through the stomach into the small intestine can cause intestinal pain and discomfort in infants. If traditional over the shoulder isn't working then try other postions. Try sitting her on your right leg (left if you are left-handed) and place your right hand on her chest with your thumb and forefinger cradling her chin then pat her back with your left hand. You could also lay her flat on your legs with her head on your right leg and your left leg slightly elevated from the right so her bottom is in the air and pat her back. This position helps the air bubbles in her intestinal tract to travel up and out of her bottom. baby flower girl outfits for wedding
Step Six: Cuddle
Sometimes nothing is wrong and your baby just wants to be cuddled. There is nothing wrong with holding your baby, kissing her, and singing little lullabies to her. If you don't feel comfortable with co-sleeping, you can sit in a recliner with a pillow under your knees, baby on your chest, and a blanket wrapped around the two of you.
The Hard Part
When it comes down to it, Mommy (or Daddy) wants to sleep in her own bed so you will try to lay her down. However, do not lay her down the moment she falls asleep. Her light REM sleep is longer than an adult's so it'll take her longer to fall into a deep enough sleep to be moved than it takes you. Wait about five minutes before laying her down in her own bed. Don't fret if nothing seems to work. Sometimes you need to do other things like going for a drive at two in the morning or putting her in a swing or even going for a stroll in the middle of winter. Do what works for you and your baby. Nobody can tell you what will work for her.