Effective Ways to Soothe a Crying Baby
Let’s talk about crying babies, shall we? If we’re being completely honest, said crying can be incessant and stressful. The first step to learning effective ways to soothe a crying baby is to understand the difference in her cries. She could be mad, hungry, gassy, scared, overstimulated or tired. Or she may just be working through an uncomfortable bowel movement. (Yes, I went there.) But, with practice, you’ll begin to understand the nature of your newborn’s cries, and can respond accordingly.
Here’s a list of some effective ways to soothe a crying baby. We hope they help!
1. Motion, motion, motion.
Sometimes all a crying baby needs is a little motion. Whether it’s a walk-and-bounce, the gentle motion of a rocker/glider or the soft vibrations of a baby swing or chair, motion can be your best friend. If you’ve walked the length of the room a million plus times, and you feel like the joints of your knees are about done, try bouncing on an exercise ball. Cradle your baby in your arms, or place her in your baby carrier of choice, and bounce away. The ab workout will just be an added bonus.
2. A little “shush” goes a long way.
Making the “shush” sound actually mimics the sounds your baby heard in the womb. Saying it softly directly in her ear repeatedly can instantly soothe your baby’s cries. This method can be even more effective coupled with a little motion… especially a gentle bounce.
3. Turn down the lights.
If your baby is overstimulated, creating a darker space can be an effective soothing tool. Try dimming the lights or turning them off completely, or move to a darker room. Remember, your baby is used to the darkness of the womb, and even the simplest stimuli can cause distress.
4. White noise for the win.
Try any type of white noise machine that has a consistent rushing sound. Think waves, rain, or even whale sounds. Also, there are a lot of baby items (think night lights, humidifiers or bassinets) that come with a built-in white noise machine, with sounds tailored solely for babies.
5. Just say no to gas.
Gas can be really painful for newborns because they’re still figuring out their bodies and how they work. If you think your baby is upset because of gas, try laying her down across your knees and gently rub her back. You can also try to bicycle her legs while she lies on her back. If it becomes a constant problem, consult with your pediatrician about your options.
6. Babywear for the win.
Sometimes, all baby needs is to feel safe and secure. Using a baby wrap like this one can help facilitate that sense of security. The right baby carrier can take off the (literal) weight off of your shoulders, and more evenly distribute it throughout your body. It can also help your baby feel swaddled and safe like she did in the womb. You and your baby will get to enjoy the closeness, and you’ll be able to have a greater range of motion.
7. Take a break.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is to take a break. While not every parent or caregiver has this option, it’s not a bad idea to try if you do. Soothing a crying baby can be stressful, and your baby can pick up on that energy. So if you’re feeling like you’re at your wit’s end, pass baby off to your partner or family member, and take a little break. Whether it’s a quick walk outside or going into another room for a five-minute timeout, make sure you’re taking care of yourself so that you can better take care of your baby.
What tips did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!
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June Backer Update
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