How To Soothe A Crying Or Fussy Baby
All babies cry, some more than others. This article offers techniques that will help new parents reduce their baby’s tears, as well as their own.
Many new parents begin to panic as they leave the hospital and its collection of informed and helpful nurses and staff. Parents are suddenly thrust into the real world with a brand new infant and wonder if they will be able to cope.
Then the baby starts crying. Parents may try everything, but she doesn’t stop. A screaming baby can frazzle even the most composed of adults. A baby’s cry is a form of communication, and it’s meant to get a parent’s attention. It’s a parent’s never-ending job to attempt to determine what the baby needs or wants.
Crying is Communication
The only way a newborn can communicate wants or needs is by crying. It’s very difficult for a new parent to interpret these cries in the beginning because it can take a while to get to know the baby and his personality.
As caregivers become more familiar with the infant over the next several months, it will become easier and easier to understand what the baby is trying to convey. This article will outline a few simple tips for brand new parents embarking on this incredible journey who want to learn how to soothe a crying or fussy baby.
Reasons a Baby Might Cry
The most common reasons an infant cries are hunger, a wet or dirty diaper, being uncomfortably hot or cold, wanting to be cuddled/held, or being tired. Some of these needs can be met in a very straightforward manner, such as feeding the baby, changing her diaper, or holding him.
Many times the solution is not that simple. Even after having all of the obvious needs met, a baby may continue to cry. This is when parents may become weary and even frustrated.
How Parents Can Help
These tips and techniques are helpful after parents have resolved all of the simple reasons the infant might be crying, such as hunger or being wet. When the baby still won’t stop crying, parents can try these techniques alone or in combinations. Different tricks work with different babies, and many times, it’s a matter of trial and error.
Many infants desire that familiar feeling of being snug and warm like the way they felt in their mother’s womb. Swaddling can be tricky, and some parents prefer the specially made swaddle blankets on the market to help their infant achieve that feeling of security.
Rocking or Movement
Most babies love to be moved around. Some prefer to be rocked; some prefer walking, and some even like being gently jiggled. Gentle movement may be just what the baby needs to calm down. Some parents swear their baby only stops crying when he is bounced on an exercise/stability ball.
Step Away From the Toys!
The infant might be over-stimulated. After months in a generally quiet, dark habitat, babies are brought into homes that are full of sights and sounds, not to mention the endless array of educational toys marketed, especially to new parents.
Parents can try to turn off the television, remove the brightly colored toys and simply let the baby be. Instead of music, try a fan or a white noise machine. It may take a few minutes, but the baby may just calm down on his own.
Babies are born with a desire to suck. It’s soothing to them, and they may need additional sucking time than what is provided with a typical feeding. Try a pacifier or direct her to her thumb.
Take a Ride or Walk
A stroller ride or even a car ride can be calming to even the fussiest of babies. Many babies love being outside. Just stepping out the door may be enough to calm the infant down.
Carry the Baby in a Sling or Carrier
Many babies just enjoy being held. Parents may find this difficult if there are other children in the home or during chores that must be completed. A sling or baby carrier may be the answer so that parents can have both hands free while still comforting the child.
Is it Gas?
Some infants, even those that are breastfed, may develop gas bubbles in their tiny tummies. As many adults know, gas can be painful. There are some gas relief products on the market, as well as different types of gripe water that contain homeopathic ingredients to help with stomach problems. Of course, parents should always speak to their pediatrician before using any type of over the counter medication.
Take a Bath
Many infants love taking baths. The warm water is calming and may be just what the baby needs to relax and stop crying. If you’re wondering how to soothe a crying or fussy baby, a bath may work magic.
Babies seem to be able to sense the tension in their caregivers. The more stressed a parent is, the more stressed the baby can become. Parents should take some deep breaths and try to remain calm.
If a caregiver begins to feel stressed, it’s important to take a break. Put the baby in her crib or another safe place and leave the room. It’s better for everyone for a parent to leave the baby to cry alone rather than become overwhelmed and do something regrettable.
All Babies Cry
Some babies cry more than others, and all will cry for no discernible reason at some time or other. Even after using all of the tips, a baby may continue to cry. Sometimes babies simply need to release stress by crying. It can be a stressful period of time, but parents can be assured that this is a temporary phase that will soon be a memory.