Giving birth to a baby is the most wonderful thing in the world. This experience is not only great for a mother, but for the baby as well. In the womb, baby is perfectly protected, until it comes out into the real world where the things are not that easy as they used to be. This is why the first few months after the birth are crucial, because at that time the baby needs to get used to living without the comfort of the uterus.
Function of the Womb
Uterus, also known as the womb, is a special reproductive organ which shields and protects the fruit of your loins from internal and external influence. Its main function is, thus, protection, but also insulation and a means of transport of nutritive ingredients. Namely, via the umbilical cord and placenta, the baby gets all the necessary nutrients through the mother’s blood – food, water, and oxygen.
It also protects the baby from infections and different bacteria. While inside, the baby is surrounded by placenta and a wall of muscle and bones which hold it firmly during its development and stretch and expand as the baby grows. When the moment comes for the baby to come out, the womb contracts and pushes the baby out into the world.
The Next Best Thing
After the baby is born, it no longer has the protection of the womb. The things it got used to – like rocking and the comfort of the uterus wall are now gone, and it is on you to make the experience of the real world as gentle as you can.
The trick is to transmit the intrauterine experience into real life. This is typically done by limiting your baby's movement when it sleeps. This age-old practice is called swaddling and is quite simple. You can put your baby in a baby sleeping bag, wrap it in a baby blanket or a piece of cloth, just enough to restrict the movement of their limbs during sleep. Swaddling provides them with comfort and restrictions similar to those it used to have in the womb.
Another thing that can soothe your baby is touch and smell. Even though some people think that babies do not feel or smell in the uterus, this is the opposite of the truth. While in there, they feel and smell your body and you can provide them with this even when they are out.
The gentle scent of chamomile and breast milk can help your baby feel as if it is back in the womb, having its mommy around it. If you are really up to the task stop using deodorant to let your baby become familiar with your external smell as well.
Tips and Tricks
The trick about soothing your baby with touch, smell and sound is singing to it while breastfeeding, for example.
And the trick about swaddling is not to make it too tight. The baby needs to move a bit during sleep, so you have to give it enough space so its limbs don't go numb. Pay special attention to the material you are wrapping your baby in because synthetic blankets do not let the skin breathe. If it is too hot, the baby can feel uneasy and wake up. What you can look for in the shops are natural cotton and organic swaddles, that allow your baby’s skin to breathe normally and are soft enough to give it comfort similar to that in the uterus.
What have you found that soothes a baby the best?