In my personal opinion, babies are a gift to mankind. They're just so dang adorable when they're laughing and playing, it makes my heart melt every time. One thing that's not quite as fun about babies, however, is when they're fussing. Although personally, my heart still melts for them, I can see how it could get old fast if you're a mom who's dealing with it for hours on a daily basis.
Sadly, babies have no real way of communicating their needs and desires other than crying out. Hunger, pain, constipation, congestion, illness - you name it, and there is probably a baby crying about it somewhere. In time, mothers can often diagnose the issue just by the tone of the cry. While different schools of parenting have different advice on whether or not to soothe a crying baby and/or what method to use to do so, at the end of the day, if a baby cries, chances are Mom is going to want to do something to stop it.
One way to soothe a number of fussy baby problems is to use the power of touch. Touch is absolutely essential between a baby and a caregiver, and psychologists have done a number of studies expounding on the benefits of gentle touching.
Reflexology is a natural, holistic healing method that uses gentle pressure on key areas of the body (usually hands and feet). The hands and feet have a lot of nerve endings that connect to other parts of the body, so the logic is that releasing tension in these points on your hands/feet can release tension throughout the body. When applied gently, it can also work wonders at soothing a fussy baby.
Babies are often a lot more sensitive to reflexology techniques than adults are. The chart below provides an overview of some of the key areas to focus on when practicing foot reflexology with a baby.
Head and Teeth:
The tips of the toes correspond to the head and teeth and it can be especially helpful to focus here when babies are teething.
The center of the toes corresponds to the sinuses. If your baby has a case of the sniffles, try rubbing his/her toes to soothe the symptoms.
Having a cold also affects the respiratory tract. If you notice your baby is having some trouble breathing or eating, try rubbing the highlighted area to offer relief.
The solar plexus is a complicated mass of nerves located just behind the stomach. Discomfort in the solar plexus can cause an upset stomach, spasms, and difficulty breathing. Apply pressure to the area just below the ball of the foot to provide some comfort.
If you suspect that your baby is having trouble with their bowels, gently rub the center of the soles of their feet to provide relief.
Much like the upper abdomen, the lower abdomen is also connected to the bowels. Massaging the area specifically corresponding to the lower abdomen is believed to alleviate gassiness.
In reflexology, the heels of the feet are connected to the pelvic region. If you suspect your baby has been experiencing tummy and hip pains, try applying pressure here. Just make sure to do it gently.
As always, it should be noted that the advice given here is NOT intended to replace your friendly neighborhood pediatrician. Always consult with a medical professional first, using these techniques as a supplement to any treatments offered by the doctor (with their knowledge and consent to do so).