Hesperian Health Guides

Comforting the baby

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HealthWiki > A Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities > Chapter 12: Caring for your baby > Comforting the baby

For a baby to feel safe and close with its mother, it is important for the mother to comfort the baby when the baby is unhappy. If your baby starts to cry, and you cannot get to her quickly, someone else can bring her to you. Then your baby can see your face and hear your voice saying comforting words—even if you cannot pick up or hold the baby yourself.

If you have no use of your arms or cannot hold your baby

Here are two ways you can comfort your baby:

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Someone can hold the baby close
to you so the baby can hear your
voice and recognize your smell as
his mother.
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Or someone can sit behind you and hold the baby in front of you so you can comfort him with your voice.
a woman who wears a hearing aid and carries a baby in a sling.

If you cannot hear well

A healthy baby usually makes a lot of noise when he is hungry or not feeling well. So, if you do not hear well, you will need to stay close to your baby as much as possible so you will see when your baby needs your attention. At night, sleep with the baby as close to you as possible so that you can feel him move. And during the day, keep the baby close to you.

To know how he is feeling, you will probably carry your baby more than most women. He will quickly get to know how you smell and feel, and the sound of your voice. This will make him feel very close and secure with you.

an older woman speaking to another woman while a woman and small boy use sign language nearby.
My grandson is so smart. He’s learned how to use sign language with his mother, and I’m teaching him how to speak.

If you use sign language to communicate, use sign language with your baby, even if your baby is not deaf. This way you and your baby will be able to communicate throughout life. Also, let your baby spend time with family members and friends who are not deaf so the baby will learn to speak.

If the baby is fussy

During the first few months, some babies can be very fussy, especially in the evening. This is less common with babies who have been breastfed, but it can still happen. You can help calm your baby by offering her the breast, burping her, singing or talking to her, and walking or rocking her. Babies love to move. A fussy baby can be exhausting and frustrating for any mother. The baby’s father, or other family members or caregivers, can all help with the baby when she is fussy so you have more time to rest.