Your world is forever changed when you welcome a new baby into your home. No longer is your schedule relevant as they will now dictate how you spend your day.
While much of that time is spent sleeping, a lot of it will be spent crying, both you and the baby. A crying baby can be very frustrating. Not only do you want to comfort your baby but the aversive sound of crying can make you very uncomfortable.
As your baby ages, you will be able to better comfort them but the first few months can be frustrating as often you won’t know what is wrong or how to solve the problem.
Positioning is Important
When holding your baby, lay them on your chest so they can feel the warmth of your skin, hear the sound of your voice and hear the beat of your heart.
Stand with your right foot slightly ahead of your left foot and gently rock back and forth simulating the motion of a rocking chair.
Pat their back gently as you hold them to give them comfort and swaddle them in a blanket to make them feel secure.
At times your crying baby will thrash around so be sure that you are holding them in a stable way to prevent them from wiggling out of your arms.
Try Soothing Sounds
When a baby is first born, it is said that they are in the “fourth trimester” meaning they still act as if they are in the womb and still crave the effects of the womb.
When in the womb, a baby experiences constant white noise which they find very comforting.
If your baby is crying, hold them and stand near a running sink or shower. Consider purchasing a white noise machine that can go in their room or crib as this will help them sleep more soundly.
Sometimes even a vacuum cleaner can soothe them. A baby sleeps much better with white noise rather than in a quiet room.
Singing or talking to your baby can often soothe them. Babies typically enjoy hearing their mother’s voice as they were comforted by it in the womb. Singing a soft song or talking to them can comfort them further.
Play soft music for them or provide a recording of lullabies to help soothe them to sleep. Playing music when they fall asleep will also help block out loud noises that could possibly wake a sleeping baby. Giving your baby familiar or comforting sounds will make them feel secure which will relax them.
Rock-A Bye Baby Works
A crying baby can also be soothed with motion. Using a baby swing can mimic the rocking motion of the womb.
Some swings come equipped with a white noise machine or lullabies to help calm the baby. Sometimes, a short car ride will lull a baby to sleep.
Quietly circling the neighborhood for several minutes can rock almost any baby to a deep sleep. Going for a walk with a stroller can also calm a distressed baby. The motion of movement rocks them which gives them the sensation of being back in the comfortable womb which they crave.
The Swaddling Technique
Wrapping a baby snuggly in a blanket or swaddling them will give them comfort as they enjoy the feeling of the pressure the blanket gives.
The pressure of a blanket makes them feel secure and safe and it mimics the tightness of the womb.
Also, using a wrap carrier can give your baby the feeling of a tightly wrapped blanket, the warmth of your body, the sound of your heartbeat all while allowing you to have freedom while carrying the little one.
Be mindful of their body temperature as it is possible for them to get too hot from being wrapped in blankets or in a wrap carrier. Dress them in light clothing which will allow them to comfortably use a blanket without getting overheated.
Sometimes a baby will cry because they have gas. When burping a baby, pat their back with gentle force which will help move the air bubbles up and out. There are also gas drops which you can purchase and you can either give it to the baby directly or squirt some in a bottle. This will help prevent gas bubbles as well as take care of gas bubbles already present.
Sometimes a baby will cry from teething. Freeze teething rings for comfort and rub teething gel on their gums to help numb the pain. A baby may also cry if they are sick so administer medication as directed and keep track of their body temperature. When a baby is crying hysterically, their body temperature will rise slightly.
At times your baby will be fed, rocked, sang to, changed and soothed yet they will still cry. Sometimes it is necessary to take a break from all the crying so having your spouse or a friend care for the baby while you walk away to take a break is always a good idea. If necessary, lay the baby in a safe place when they are inconsolable and go to a quiet room or take a shower to regain your composure. You are of no use if you are too stressed to care for the baby.
There are time when it seems that no matter what you do, they are not satisfied. This can be extremely stressful however know that you are not failing as a parent.
Continue to comfort them and they will soon be calm. If your baby cries constantly and is inconsolable often, they may have colic or something similar so talk to their doctor if necessary. Caring for a newborn can be trying and frustrating, however, using these simple tips can help keep your baby calm and you as well.