Interventions for Highly Sensitive Infants
Reduce sound and light and activity in the area around baby as soon as he starts to show signs of getting fussy. Sometimes a darkened room, a rocking chair and baby held in a tight swaddle is your best plan.
Use the white noise of a sound box machine, especially the ocean sound to sooth the central nervous system (CNS), and calm baby, especially at bedtime. Leave it on all night.
Encourage lots of skin-to-skin contact between you and baby, example: Tuck a bare skinned, diapered baby under your shirt (or Daddy’s shirt) so that he lies on your skin. This way baby can feel your body heat, feel your heart beat and breathing, and be comforted as he was in the womb.
Play Mozart for organization of CNS and to assist with the SuckSwallowBreathe pattern of eating. Also, play lullabies for the soothing repetition and female vocals. See Marvelous Music. >
Swaddle more tightly if a regular swaddle doesn’t seem to help. Gently bring his hands to midline and make sure that they are close to his mouth when in the swaddle. See Magic of Midline > and Smart Swaddle > for more.
Encourage sucking to organize the Central Nervous System – explore which pacifier nipple baby can tolerate for self-comforting, example: Vanilla-scented blue one from Soothie®. See Sucking is Supreme. >
Try baby in a swing for the comfort of motion as if he was in the womb. Vary his position in the swing to see which level he prefers. Generally, a baby like this responds best to a swing that allows the upright position.
See Essential Equipment >.
A vibrating bouncy seat is wonderful for providing vibration & upright positioning. See Essential Equipment >.
Aim for short sessions only when playing with baby or offering a toy. Watch carefully to see when he shows signs of tiring…. and stop.
Play Tummy Time when baby is awake, 3 times a day, 20 min., make it fun! Watch baby carefully to see when he gives you cues that he has had enough. See Terrific Tummy Time > for more ideas.
Give baby verbal encouragement and encourage interactive exchanges, but let him signal that he is ready.
See What Baby is Trying To Tell You >.
Read Good Night Moon and play pat-a-cake with baby when he is attentive. He will be less fussy later on if you stimulate his brain while he is in the quiet alert state. See Sleep/Awake Cycles > and Read with Baby >.
Try massaging baby’s face, maybe just a gentle, firm sweep across his forehead, slowly and over and over as tolerated. Play “This little piggy” on his toes and massage each lovingly.