Parenting a newborn is a new experience. Even parents who have added a second or third child to the family find themselves struggling to figure out ways to soothe a crying baby. This is because each child is different, and it is no guarantee that one way for soothing a crying baby will work as well as another.
Each baby has his or her own preferred ways to be soothed. It takes some trial and error to determine the best routine for soothing a crying baby. However, there are certain tips that can put parents on the path to finding the best ways to soothe their crying baby.
Tips to Soothe a Crying Baby
An infant that is crying needs comfort. However, it can be a challenge to figure out the problem and the best way to resolve it. Consider the following tips:
- Start with the obvious: A newborn has certain basic needs that require attention often in the first few months. A checklist should be your starting point whenever the baby cries. Eventually, it will become a habit. That checklist involves changing the baby’s diaper, feeding the baby and making sure the outfit he or she is wearing is appropriate for the climate in the house. Babies can be too hot or too cold easily, as their internal thermostat is still developing.
- Try sound: Newborns have just left an environment where they were constantly hearing noises, like the repetition of your heartbeat, the sound of blood flowing and other processes within your body. Now they are in a new environment and surrounded by unexpected noises. A womb bear, white noise like a fan or a vacuum or the sound of your voice saying “Shush” repetitively can comfort an infant.
- Swaddle: Wrap your baby in a lightweight blanket that holds his or her arms close to the body and provides a comforting pressure without being too tight. This helps the baby remember the comfort of the womb and sleep better.
- Snuggle or Wear: Strip yourself and baby to bare skin and cuddle together, keeping a blanket around the baby’s back to ensure the baby’s warmth and comfort. The contact with a parent’s skin has been shown to provide significant benefits. It is also recommended to wear the baby in a wrap or sling, which keeps the baby close enough to hear your heartbeat and allows the baby to feel safe.
- Try Motion: Place baby in a swing, which provides a comforting and repetitive motion. Also, try holding the baby close and swivel at the hips. This provides comfort and contact, which can make even more of an impact.
- Go on a short trip: Try taking baby for a walk around the block or a short drive. Going out to get fresh air and then moving consistently as baby is snuggled into a carseat or stroller provides comfort and soothes baby to sleep.
- Help the baby deal with gas: Some babies struggle with gas, due to a still forming digestive system. In order to be sure baby is not uncomfortable, lay the baby across your lap, facing downward. Gently rub the baby’s back. It is also a good idea to lay baby on his or her back and try bicycling their legs. Another option is to put baby against your shoulder and gently pat his or her back or hold baby securely and bounce gently. Consider using gripe water or infant gas drops to help address gas build-up in the baby’s digestive system.
Finding the best ways to soothe a crying baby can be a challenge. For new parents especially, it can be an issue because you aren’t sure what your baby needs at the time. However, trying to do things in a calm manner and try different things can lead to success because you can find the ways for soothing a baby that work for your baby in particular. Once you understand what helps your baby calm down, you can adjust the way you do things to try that first. Your baby will feel soothed and you can regain confidence in your parenting skills.