Remember that time when you were 36 weeks in your pregnancy, and all you could do is long to hold your baby? Guess what, enjoy your “you time.” The joy of having a newborn is overrated. Most of the time when your baby is continually crying, and your work will be to figure out why your little one is crying and how to soothe your crying baby.
There are a few tricks that you can follow to enjoy motherhood more and also enjoy being around your newborn. First, it’s essential to know why your baby is crying. The following are some of the reasons a baby cries:
1. Your baby could be hungry
2. Needs a diaper change
3. Has colic
4. Wants to cuddle
5. Tired and sleepy
6. Feeling cold or hot
7. Is unwell
8. Anxiety and fear
There are different ways to soothe a crying baby in seconds, and before one figures out what works for her baby, it’s essential to try as many options as possible until you get a solution.
You should also try the best available resources and sleep aids to soothe your crying baby. We recommend that you include these two best resources for your baby’s early care plan:
The first one shows how to put your baby on a scheduled feeding and sleeping plan. The second one shows the best way to calm a fussy baby at night. These two, along with the following tips, can be game-changers for new moms.
How to Soothe a Crying Baby in Seconds
1. Playback and Mirrors
One technique that works for babies is recording the baby when he is crying and then play it for him to listen. For some reason, hearing himself cry will excite him and draw his attention from crying to listening to himself. At times even after changing the diaper, which could be the reason for crying, the baby might not stop crying because he is “stuck” in crying. That is why the recorded sound of him crying helps him snap from the crying mood.
Also, seeing a reflection of themselves in the mirror will help distract them from crying and focus on the image they are seeing. Seeing new things create excitement and shift the focus to the new item and hence stops crying.
2. Swaddling and Cuddling
When the baby was in the womb, he was used to a particular position. For those nine months, the baby gets used to staying at that angle. Swaddling the baby makes him feel safe like he felt in the womb. When swaddling, make sure the arms are held in a still position as they may scare him.
Swaddling feels like touching and provides warmth. That feeling provides comfort and snugness that soothe the crying baby to sleep. When swaddling the baby, it is essential to make sure you use the right amount of blankets, not too much and not too little to provide the right amount of warmth. Also, one should make sure the swaddling is done in the right way, not too tight, and not too loose to prevent the baby from covering its breathing area or being uncomfortable and crying even more.
It’s hard to learn how to swaddle perfectly without a good swaddle blanket. The Miracle Swaddle Blanket is the best $30 investment you can ever make for peaceful nights!
Undressing the baby and putting him against your bare skin might often help soothe your crying baby in seconds.
3. White Sound and Tunes
When the baby is in the womb, he gets used to the noise. The noise from the blood pumping and heartbeat of the mom provides some comfort to the baby, which he eventually gets used to them. There are many white noise machines in the market. If you are looking for one, go for the Hatch Baby's Rest Sound Machine. It is one of the best “smart” white noise machines out there. Downloading apps that provide white sound can also help.
Tunes also help in soothing the baby. You should try all tunes from lullabies to country music until you find what works for your baby. While putting the white noise and the songs for the baby, it’s essential to put the right amount of volume and put it at a safe distance as too much noise can affect the hearing system of the baby. Try singing to the baby even if it’s not the John Legend voice, but the baby gets accustomed to your voice. It provides a soothing feeling to him. Making the “shush” sound near his ears will also help in soothing.
4. Suckling Comfort
Suckling provides comfort to a baby, especially if your baby is between one month to three months. Giving them something to suckle will help in soothing them. If you are breastfeeding, you can allow him to suckle at intervals. This stage is called the oral stage. It’s where the baby gets pleasure from suckling.
Pacifiers are also an excellent option for the baby as they help in keeping the baby calm. WubbaNub has a cute effective pacifier that you can also use as a backup toy. In a case where you don’t have a pacifier, offering your clean pinkie finger will serve the same purpose as the pacifier.
At times soothing the crying baby can be as easy as moving around with him. Carry him and take a walk with him. Go outdoor walks as you take in some fresh air. You can use a lightweight umbrella stroller or even a car ride is good enough. Be on the move and see what type of movement soothes your little one. If you need a baby carrier or a tool for nursing in public, choose all new mom’s favorite Baby K’tan Original Baby Wrap Carrier. Don’t forget to watch the “how-to” video instructions on the K’tan website.
Swinging your baby will also help in soothing him. There are some good baby swings for reflux or colic babies that you can use to soothe your crying baby. These things are expensive but work like magic. You can even try swinging him using your hands.
How To Soothe A Crying Baby – Dr. Robert Hamilton
Other Ways to Soothe a Crying Baby
As your baby grows, you will be able to learn what works and what doesn’t work. The trick is not giving up until you nail that particular trick to keep them calm.
Check the Temperature
For babies who are three months and below, 38°C is an alarming temperature, but for babies above three months up to six months, 39°C is alarming. You can use the tummy or the back of the neck to check the temperature as the hands can be deceiving because they feel cold most of the time. Keep a first aid kit in your baby’s nursery, which will turn out to be super handy when your little one is in a state of bother.
If your baby’s temperature is 38°C or higher, consider taking off some of their clothes, and if the temperature does not go down, it’s advisable to visit the pediatrician for a checkup.
Checking the house temperature is also essential as high heat in the room may cause discomfort to the baby, and it could be the reason for the constant crying. The same case applies to low temperatures. A baby’s room should be 16°C to 20°C. Use cotton bed sheets to make sure the baby’s cot is warm enough.
If you are practicing exclusive breastfeeding, what you eat and drink is essential. To make sure you know what works for your baby, try different meals, and observe how each meal reacts to the baby. Some babies are allergic to some foods and can affect them when they breastfeed. An example is, babies who are allergic to nuts will become fussy when their mothers take nuts.
Overfeeding the baby could also be an issue. Newborns have small stomachs and need to feed at intervals. At times, it’s difficult to tell when your baby is full. Sometimes, you may end up overfeeding the baby and eventually causing discomfort to the baby.
Babies who are taking the formula can also be affected by a different type of formula. If you give a specific type and the baby keeps on crying, you can also try others to rule out the possibility. Some babies are allergic to milk, and anytime they take something that contains milk they get stomach upsets, they end up crying constantly. Before concluding your baby is allergic to milk, see a doctor who will run some tests to confirm if this is true.
Colic is a common condition in newborns. When a baby has colic, they tend to cry more than three hours a day, and more than three days a week. This can cause a lot of stress, not only to the baby but also to the mom who is trying to soothe the crying baby. Colic is said to be caused by wind in the baby’s stomach, constipation acid reflux, and issues with the digestive system.
If the baby is suffering from colic, a tummy massage will help in easing the pain. The massages recommended in easing colic are:
- Massaging the tummy clockwise with your palms flat.
- Massaging in a way that you make the letter ‘n’ on the baby’s tummy.
- Pressing his knees to the chest.
- Doing bicycle rides with his legs.
How to know your baby has colic
- If he seems uncomfortable and pulls his legs toward the tummy.
- When he cries nonstop and nothing is working in soothing him.
- If his face turns red, which is a sign, he is in pain.
- His stomach may be hard.
- Clenching the fist.
Take a Break
At times this new world can be overwhelming to you. It’s like being in a totally new place where you know nothing about it. This could be too much to handle for the baby and could be the cause of his constant crying.
Taking the baby to a dark room will help in soothing the baby. Make sure the darkroom is as silent as possible. By doing this, the baby will be able to recover from whatever was making him cry. Also, the darkroom replays the womb environment to which the baby was used to and it, in turn, provides a safe sensation.
Babies are a little more sensitive. A ‘soiled’ diaper can cause them to cry, and simple action as changing it may help soothe them. At times it may be because of how you have placed the diaper, which made it uncomfortable. Some diaper brands may be reactive to the baby’s skin and cause irritation. Try some organic diaper brands and see if the crying stops.
At times the baby may be fussy due to being uncomfortable caused by the clothes. You may have forgotten a tag. Other times, the clothes may be too tight, which limits the baby’s movements. In other cases, it could be the chemicals used to clean the clothes as some people are allergic to some detergents used in cleaning. Check either option and change the cleaning products and observe if the baby improves.
Put your baby in the stomach position. This helps in soothing the baby to sleep. This position helps in the digestive system and may help if the baby has stomach upsets. After putting him in that position, rubbing him on the back may soothe him to sleep. Make sure when putting the baby to bed, you change that position as it can cause sudden infant death [SID].
Give Yourself a Break
If you have tried all the above and it’s not working, give yourself a break, walk away for a few minutes. Take a shower for you to relax. By now, you are stressed even to figure out what could be the issue with your baby. You may even suffer from the baby blues. Find someone else to help you with the baby. Or get a smart baby monitor like the lollipop baby monitor to keep tabs on your baby and get some peace of mind.
If the baby is continuously crying, it means you are also not getting enough sleep. This could even lead to postpartum depression and may even cause more problems for the baby. For example, if you are doing exclusive breastfeeding, you may be unable to produce enough milk for your baby due to stress hence the baby being hungry meaning more crying. Just chill and relax. It will help both of you. Finding social groups of nursing moms will help as you will share your experiences, and you’ll be able to apply something that worked for another mother.
Remember, “This too shall pass”
It’s such a relief when the baby is quiet because it means you also get peace. Just in case your baby is not calm yet, don’t get frustrated and feel like you are failing as a mom. Remember that it’s not your fault. Just visit the doctor for a checkup. It might be a health issue which you can do very little about. Crying is normal in babies. Some babies may cry more than others. It’s usually a stage that will soon come to pass, but it requires patience.
In most cases, the baby will outgrow the crying phase in a few months, and in no time you will forget you had a crying baby. Relax and enjoy parenthood. You should enjoy it every step along the way.