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Signs of Stress and Calming Techniques for Infants

SILKSigns of Stress
Recognizing and reacting to these signs will make you and your baby happy!

  • Arching his/her back
  • Crying
  • Saluting
  • Flailing movements
  • Extension of the arms and legs
  • Finger splaying
  • Gaze aversion
  • Panicked or worried look
  • Irritability
  • Tremors or jittery movements
  • Gagging
  • Sneezing
  • Yawning
  • Hiccups
  • Color Changes: Red or Blue Skin Color  Changes in Vital Signs: Heart Rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, respiratory rate

Calming Techniques

  • Place a hand at his/her head and/or feet.
  • Bring his/her hands together.
  • Let him/her suck on their thumb, fingers, or hand.
  • Wrap him/her in a blanket tightly.
  • If baby is in a crib, holding and rocking may be effective. Also try gently tapping his/her bottom and/or shushing her.

The Chester County Hospital Lactaction Consultants: 610.738.2582

The Chester County Hospital NICU's Support in Lactation and Kangaroo Care (SILK) program was created in 2010. It is adapted from the UCSD SPIN Program 9/08.

Last Updated: 6/23/2011