You’ve heard them, you’ve seen them: a baby crying inconsolably while a parent jiggles, shushes, and walks with babe in arms, imploring her to stop. Babies cry a lot, some more than others. There’s a little-known secret — a unique, simple, and effective way to soothe a fussing or crying baby. Try this simple tip or share it with a pregnant woman.
During the last trimester of pregnancy, pick a song that you and your partner like. It doesn’t have to be a lullaby or a baby song. Try a pop song, a folk song, a classic — anything, as long as you enjoy it. Sing this song aloud once or twice a day in the last 8 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. Your baby will hear, remember and love this song and your voice (even if you’re off key!). As you sing, you may find yourself relaxing and releasing some of the stresses of the day.
At birth, after those first few lung-clearing cries, greet your baby by singing this song. Your baby will soon calm down and look around to find you. Your heart may melt. This becomes your special way to soothe and calm your baby. No one else can do this for your baby.
Later, when you're in the car and can’t stop driving to tend to your baby, sing. When the baby fusses even when well fed, sing. And when you’re rocking your baby to sleep, sing.
Here is a video about this method:
Here’s to happier babies and parents!
—By Penny Simkin, PT, CCE, CD(DONA), physical therapist, certified childbirth educator, internationally certified birth doula, DONA International birth doula trainer and DONA International founder and mentor.