Parents often feel like they don’t have much control in their child’s medical treatment. They want to have an active role in their child’s care; and sometimes they don’t know how to get it because they have to rely on the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff to help care for their child’s medical needs. Parents have a lot to offer their child and the medical team!
You know your child best and you know how to comfort your child best. Babies need to feel a sense of security and you are just that for your child! Parents are allowed and encouraged to be present during many procedures a child may have. So, if your baby is having a procedure that you can be present for, here are some ideas for how you can help your baby during that procedure:
Remain calm– Babies can feel tension in your body when you are stressed, so the more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your baby will be.
Hold your baby in your arms or lap, if possible– Some procedures may require your baby to lay down, so be sure to discuss with your medical team what position you all think, is best for the baby to be in during the procedure.
Swaddling- Having boundaries, such as a blanket wrapped around your baby can be comforting, especially for young infants. This gives them something to push against when they move their arms and legs and reminds them of the safety and boundaries from being in the womb.
Sucking on a pacifier– Sucking is a natural way for a babies to soothe themselves.
Music– Playing music softly in the room can be soothing, as well as humming or singing to your baby.
Have a quiet room– Soft, quiet, soothing voices will help to calm your baby and it reduces the chance of the baby getting over stimulated and upset from multiple voices during a procedure.
Use a distraction toy– For older babies, try blowing bubbles, push or help your baby push buttons on a light up or musical toy, or try getting their focus on a difference interactive toy.
Soothing touch– Don’t be afraid to touch your baby during the procedure. A gentle touch from you can be very soothing and calming for your little one, as well as reassuring and comforting for you!
It is likely your baby will still cry during the procedure because that is how they naturally express themselves. This does not mean that your singing, distraction, or soothing didn’t work; it just means your baby is normal! Remember your job is to try to soothe and comfort your child, so the key is to stay calm and focused on your child.