Childr Health Information

Sensitive babies

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Topic: Infant Health Care

This handout was written to offer suggestions for the care of babies who are often fussy. Ask the doctor or nurse to go over any information you do not understand.

WHAT IS A “SENSITIVE BABY”?
A sensitive baby is one who is easily upset and difficult to quiet. The baby spends most of his or her time asleep or crying. The baby has trouble staying quiet and alert. He or she avoids looking at your face. Sensitive babies may require extra care. Many sensitive babies had problems at birth. Some were exposed to drugs, medications or other substances before they were born. Others were born prematurely or were very ill. Some sensitive babies appear to be healthy at birth but have colic or digestion problems.

WHAT CAN I DO?
Try not to let your baby reach a frantic crying state. Watch for early distress signs that he or she is upset, stop what you are doing and try to calm your baby. The longer your baby cries, the harder it is to calm him or her.

WHAT EARLY DISTRESS SIGNS WILL MY BABY HAVE TO SHOW THAT HE OR SHE IS GETTING UPSET?
Your baby’s early distress signs may not always be the same.
• Yawns
• Sneezes
• Hiccups
• Pale, gray or blue skin color around the eyes or mouth
• Closes eyes or looks away from you
• Frantically waving arms and kicking legs
• Arches back and neck and pushes away

HOW CAN I CALM MY BABY WHEN HE OR SHE IS CRYING FRANTICALLY?
• Try wrapping your baby snugly in a blanket with arms and legs bent and hands near his or her mouth.
• Take your baby into a quiet room with dim lights.
• Try a pacifier.
• Hold your baby closely and rock gently. Many sensitive babies quiet when they are held upright and rocked up and down instead of back and forth.
• Talking or singing in a soft voice may help calm your baby. You may need all or a combination of these hints.

HOW CAN I PLAY WITH MY BABY IF HE OR SHE CRIES SO MUCH OF THE TIME?
When your baby is awake and calm try just one thing at a time. At first only talk to your baby or look face-to-face with your baby without talking. If your baby begins to fuss, stop the activity for a minute or two and then try again. If baby stays calm then add activities only one at a time, such as talking, singing, rocking, or something to look at. Play with your baby when he or she is ready, not just when you want to play. When he or she is calm, unwrap your baby to let him or her get used to controlling his or her arms and legs. You can even help by cuddling him or her in your arms or on the bed. Rewrap if and when your baby starts to kick, wave and cry. As your baby matures and gets used to gentle play, he or she will not fuss as easily. Gradually add more sights, sounds, and touch to your play. Continue to watch for early distress signs that your baby is getting upset and stop the activity to calm him or her.

PDF: Child Health Information - SENSITIVE BABIES

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar www.childrensdayton.org (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.
Corregido: 1994, 1998, 2001, 2004

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.
Revised: 1994, 1998, 2001, 2004

 

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