All babies have moments when they seem to be wailing for no reason. It can be really frustrating and upsetting to go through non-stop screaming because a baby crying isn’t just a noise – it can be emotionally wrecking for the parents. When combined with other new parent conditions like lack of sleep, isolation and exhaustion, calming down a crying baby can seem like a mammoth task. Here are 10 simple ways to stop your baby from crying that can save your sanity!
What to do if a baby is crying for no reason?
- Use rocking or swinging motions. Babies are used to continuous movements from their experience in the womb, so a swinging or rocking motion can help them feel safe. There are many baby bouncers and swings that offer swinging motions that you can use to calm down your little one. You can also take them out for a ride to calm them down with motion.
- Try swaddling the baby in a light blanket before you swing them or rock them. Swaddling gives the baby a feeling of security and comfort, especially for infants. For older babies, you might skip this step if you’re baby doesn’t like it.
- A consistent rhythmic noise like a washing machine, a really loud fan or hair dryer can help calm the baby down. Although we commonly shush things down and keep sounds minimalistic around babies, the womb is a pretty loud place. Little ones are used to the constant heart beat and loud churns of the digestive system, so silence can terrify them. You can record yourself singing and play it over or use white noise machines to do the task for you.
- Your baby could be crying due to gas. Babies often swallow air when feeding, which can cause severe pain when it moves through the digestive tract. To relieve this, you can place the baby on the tummy or carry her around while applying firm pressure on the stomach. Check out this simple way to relieve gas in babies.
- Use the power of touch to calm down your baby. Lay your baby skin on skin to calm them down in your warmth. You can also gently massage a tired baby to wind them down and help them fall asleep. Singing a song, massage and a swaddle makes for a good night’s sleep.
- Use a pacifier. Babies have a strong suckling reflex when born and can become stressed out when they have nothing to suckle on.
- Burp your baby! Babies can gulp down lots of air when they are crying, which can further intensify bloating and again begin a cycle of crying due to gas. If your baby is crying, hold them up over your shoulders gently, in the classic position and gently tap their backs to keep burping them often.
- Many infants spend a lot of time in slings over parent’s chests. Carrying your baby lets them snuggle with you and with your constant movement, they often can settle into a deep sleep. If your baby seems rather fussy, put in her in the sling and carry her around for a short walk.
- If your baby likes to have baths then a great way to soothe him/her is to get them into a tub! You can also get in for some quiet after a long day.
- If you have a tired, exhausted or over stimulated baby, whisk them away to a quiet, dark corner and gently calm them down with massages, songs or a bath. Turn off the lights and shut away sounds to help your baby settle down.
Other helpful tips when dealing with a crying baby
- Take a moment to evaluate the cry: At first all cries can seem the same, but with experience, you can learn to interpret your baby’s needs. If you can’t, first work through the basic possible issues like hunger, full nappy, temperature problem, tiredness or overstimulation.
- Give out cuddles: Many parents, especially from the older generations sport a misguided notion that picking up your baby when crying can spoil them. This isn’t true at all. Babies depend on us adults to help them calm down.
- Fire up your support network: Even before your little bundle of joy arrives, it is pragmatic to realize that you will have a few bad days. Plan who can lean on for moral or hands-on help on those days. It is not bad to ask for help; reach out to your family, GP or your midwife/nurse if you are struggling to cope.
- Identify your triggers: We all have certain triggers that can aggravate our response to baby crying that can stress us out to the max. It may be hunger or sleeplessness or exhaustion. Make sure that you use every opportunity available to care for you so that you don’t reach that trigger point when having to deal with a baby who needs you.
- Step away before you snap: This can happen to even the best of parents and can be extremely harmful to the baby. The shaken baby syndrome can cripple a baby and is the most common cause of infant death by abuse. If you feel you are close to losing cool, place your baby on a safe crib and walk away outside for a few moments to deep breath or count to 10 or to calm down in other ways.
What does it mean when a baby is constantly crying?
If you have a colicky baby, you can go nuts from the never-ending crying. The 5-S strategy is the best way to soothe constantly crying babies which works for most babies because it makes them feel like they’re safe in the womb.
- Shush – use white noise.
- Suck – on pacifier or thumb.
- Side or stomach – lay your baby gently on her side or on her stomach to calm her down. Do not leave your baby in this position unsupervised or put her to sleep this way.
For very fussy babies, combine all the 5 – S to stop the cries.
When should I be concerned about my baby crying?
If your baby has been inconsolable for 2 hours straight even after using these 10 simple ways to stop your bay from crying, you must check with your doctor. In addition to crying, if your baby has a temperature above 100, won’t have food or is vomiting, call your paediatrician right away.
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