How can I make my newborn baby comfortable?

Here are some techniques that can help you keep your little one calm and comfy in those first few weeks and months.

Make skin-to-skin contact. Rest baby's front on your chest for 2 to 3 hours a day. Often called "kangaroo care," it's been linked to calmer babies, improved breathing, fewer infections, and better sleep synchronization between mom and child. Many cultures follow this practice. In the early days, it was found to increase the survival rates for low-birth-weight infants. It's now being used as an adjunct to help treat preemies, but we recommend using the method to foster the parent-child relationship.
Do the kangaroo carry. Hold your baby in front of you, kangaroo style, as much as you can. It's the ideal way to carry your newborn. The physical closeness recalls the natural state of mom and child (specifically the in utero conditions) and can be helpful in all elements of neurological and emotional development. In this position, he can also smell you, hear your heart and lungs, and feel the warmth of your body.
Swaddle. Some people think this seemingly mathematical formula for wrapping a blanket around a baby is done for warmth, and some think it's for comfort. (Still others think that the full-body swaddle seems more like a straitjacket than anything else.) But the major reason swaddling is so important is because it helps limit the startle reflex, so babies don't wake themselves up.

Give daily massages. In a few years, you'll bond with your baby on car rides, shopping trips, and Sunday morning snuggles. In the first few months, one of the best ways to bond is a daily massage routine that will help relax him (and you). It's especially nice for dads who feel out of the loop with breastfeeding moms -- and it's also been shown to have innumerable other benefits, such as teaching a baby to deal with stress, calming colicky babies, stimulating nerves in the brain that facilitate food absorption, improving immune function, and helping babies fall asleep more easily. Do it when he's quiet, yet not ready to fall asleep. And pick the same soft music each time; he will connect the sound of the music with the relaxation of the massage.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.