Let’s talk about crying babies, shall we? If we’re being completely honest, said crying can be relentless and stressful. The first step to learning effective ways to soothe a crying baby is to understand the difference in their cries. They could be hungry, scared, overstimulated or tired. Or they may just be working through an uncomfortable bowel movement. But, with practice, you’ll begin to understand the nature of your newborn’s cries, and can respond accordingly.
Here is a list of some effective ways to soothe a crying baby. We hope they help!
Sometimes all a crying baby needs is a little movement. Whether it’s a walk-and-bounce, the gentle motion of a rocker or the soft vibrations of a baby swing or chair, movement can be your best friend. If you’ve walked the length of the room a million 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 them in your baby carrier of choice, and bounce away. The ab workout will be an added bonus too!
Making the “shush” sound actually mimics the sounds your baby heard in the womb. Saying it softly directly in their ear repeatedly can instantly soothe your baby’s cries. The method can be even more effective coupled with a little movement...especially a gentle bounce.
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.
Try any type of white noise machine that has consistent rushing sound. Think waves, rain, or even whale sounds. Also, there are a lot of baby items (think night lights or sleep soothers) that come with a built-in white noise machine, with sounds tailored solely for babies.
Wind 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 wind, try laying them down across your knees and gently rub their back. You can also try to bicycle their legs while they lay on their back. If it becomes a constant problem, consult with your doctor about your options.
Sometimes, all a baby needs is to feel safe and secure. Using a baby wrap can help facilitate that sense of security. The right baby carrier can take 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, just like they 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 movement.
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 can. 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 your baby to your partner, a family member or friend, 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.