Soothe a Crying Baby

You can often reduce crying by following these simple suggestions.

Remember that crying is normal. Crying is the way that babies communicate; however, many parents and caregivers are not prepared for the amount a healthy baby cries. Babies cry to tell us their needs. Crying can lead to frustration. A parent or caregiver’s inability to cope with this frustration can lead to abusive behavior. Intensive crying and colic may peak during the second month and come and go unexpectedly. It can continue despite all soothing attempts. Infants may look like they are in pain. Crying can occur for 30-40 minutes or longer and usually is in the late afternoon or evening.

Check that your baby’s basic needs are met. Is the baby hungry? Does the baby need to be burped? Does the diaper need to be changed? Is the baby uncomfortable, too hot or too cold? Does the baby want to be held, touched or cradled? Crying is how your baby communicates and he or she may be trying to tell you that one of these things is bothering him or her.

Check that your infant does not have a fever. Call the pediatrician immediately if you suspect that your baby may be ill. Infants are typically more fussy when they are sick so you will want to check his or her temperature, watch for loose stools, and keep an eye out for congestion.

Safe swaddling can calm a fussy baby. You can wrap the baby snugly in a thin blanket to make him or her feel safe and secure. You can go to the link “Swaddling Baby” to see how to safely swaddle your baby.

Babies love motion. You can hold the baby close and rock or sway. You can snuggle the baby and rock in a rocking chair. You can take the baby for a walk in the stroller or hold the baby close and walk around the house. Any sort of motion can help to calm your crying baby.

Try an infant swing or a bouncy seat. There are a number of different products that can provide the gentle and constant motion that most babies enjoy. You can also try a sling or baby-holder that you attach to your body. Some babies like the closeness and constant movement. There has been a recent concern from the Consumer Product Safety Commission concerning various Infantino slings that precipitated a recall of over 1 million baby slings. Be sure to do some research about percautions you will want to take if you choose to use a baby sling. You can read more about the recall here. http://www.tampabay.com/incoming/more-than-1-million-baby-slings-recalled/1082670

Try playing soft music or singing or humming to the baby. Some parents find that making a “shh” sound or providing some sort of static noise is helpful. White noise will mask out other noises and simulate the sounds of the womb, which can be very soothing for your crying baby.

Try dimming the lights and providing the baby with quiet time. Pediatricians believe a newborn’s immature nervous system simply can’t handle all the everyday stimulants and sometimes they may cry to relieve tension and unwind.

You may want to give the baby a warm bath or try infant massage. This can provide a distraction from whatever may be bothering your baby and give them just enough down time to relax.

Offer the baby a pacifier, safe teething ring, or rattle. Pacifiers can help your baby to satisfy his or her sucking reflex.

Young babies need a lot of attention physically and emotionally. You will not spoil your baby by holding him or her. All babies like to cuddle and be close to you so don’t worry if you need to give your baby extra attention when he or she is crying.

Copyright © 2010 Safe Baby
Healthy Start Coalition of Hillsborough County, Inc.