What's the best way to soothe a crying baby?
Real Mom Problem
“All my baby has done since coming home from the hospital till now is cry and scream. I try to sing, play, anything to make him calm down or to make him smile. I get frustrated because I don't know what he wants.”
- 1. Hold and wear your baby as much as possible
- 2. Try soothing sounds -- from you or from a white noise machine or CD
- 3. Practice the "Five S" system from the popular Happiest Baby on the Block book
- 4. Move around with your baby -- in your arms or a carrier, in a stroller, or in the car
- 5. Always consult your baby's doctor if the crying is severe or does not stop
Real Mom Solutions
Are you out of ideas when it comes to soothing your baby? Whether you have a baby with colic, or you just need to get through a fussy period each day, the moms of CafeMom have ideas for you. Try these tips:
Change How You Hold Your Baby
Baby wearing helps a ton.
We wore my baby every day almost all day (including naps) until she was around 3 months old, and then she started being able to play a little (well, look at toys that I held in front of her, lol) and it's gradually gotten better and easier.
Try holding him close and tight. Rock him hard and pat his butt as you walk.
Try Different Sounds
Try a sound machine with the white noise on loudly to mimic the "shushing" in the womb.
There is an app called baby soothing sounds. It helps with gassy babies. My son had colic and it worked like a charm.
You might try taking her to chiropractor who works on infants. Frequently, fussiness in babies is actually them expressing physical discomfort. My daughter had her neck and back out just from the L&D (which was easy breezy and really short, so that was weird). We took her to a chiropractor and after one adjustment she was a happy newborn!
What worked for us was the swaddling, as well as a vibrating activity chair and having him lay in the boppy (one of the greatest inventions EVER) next to me on the couch while I was sitting there.
I drove her around in the car a lot and would just let her sleep in the carseat all night, or I'd put her carseat on the dryer and run it til she fell asleep.
Check out the video "The Happiest Baby on the Block." The doctor talks about the 5 S's: swaddling, side/stomach position, swinging, shushing, sucking.
It's Ok to Let Them Fuss a Little
My son is three months and I let him fuss if I've done everything else. Sometimes babies just need to cry. It's not a bad thing. That's the only work out they get.
One piece of advice helped me during this time....you are teaching him something about being about to self-soothe without you when you let him settle down himself. It comforted me to know that I was actually teaching him something by setting limits on when i would be there for him and when I would let him develop the confidence to do it himself.
If a baby is not in pain or danger or being subjected to cruelty---if they are warm, dry, fed, and safe, it is better to leave them to cry for a few minutes than to continue holding them and trying to comfort them while you are stressed out. If you take a crying baby and add in a stressed out caregiver who feels like they have done everything to comfort the baby and it doesn't work, what you end up with is a perfect scenario for a child to be shaken, which can result in injury or death.