Babies cry. It’s how they communicate when they’re hungry, need a dirty diaper changed, want to be soothed or need help falling asleep. It’s not always easy to calm your cutie down and no single method works for all babies. We have tried-and-tested ways to keep those tears at bay.
1) Feed them, check their diaper
Yes, it is obvious but just look to see if they’re sucking their fingers, smacking their lips and rooting (turning their head into your hand when you stroke them). If so, the answer is really quite easy — feed them. And even if you just changed their diaper, well, maybe they hadn’t totally finished pooping last time, and poop part two is now irritating their butt. Check their diaper and change it if necessary.
2) It’s too hot (or too cold)
Newborns like to be bundled up, just not too tightly; for a baby, overheating is dangerous. If the room is air-conditioned set it to at least 24 deg C.
“Babywearing is a great practice for keeping baby happy and to help build a stronger bond between mum and her baby.”
3) “Wear” your baby
Little ones just want to be close to you, so put your baby in a sling or carrier. After all, listening to your heartbeat is a natural soother for them. Notes American paediatrician and parenting expert Dr William Sears, on his Ask Dr Sears website, “Babywearing is a great practice for keeping baby happy and to help build a stronger bond between mum and her baby.” Putting bubba in an upright position (as in the sling/carrier) is also the best thing you can do if he has reflux. A bonus — you keep your hands free.
4) Make like a kangaroo
Try “kangaroo care” — remove your clothes, strip your tot down to their diaper and place them against your naked chest. This method has been proven to be especially good for preemies. Again, it’s that closeness to you that calms them down and helps them fall asleep.
5) Massage your mite (gently)
Gently stroke their hands, move their feet in a “bicycle pedalling” motion and use two fingers to make circular motions around their tummy to release any trapped air/wind. If it’s just after feeding, a good burp against your shoulder will help.
Four more ways to soothe baby quickly (if the previous five haven’t worked)…
6) Crank up the music
Just as an upbeat tune can chase your blues away, lullabies also have a proven track record of soothing infants. Play calming baby songs on your music player, or better yet, belt out your favourite childhood songs and dance slowly or swaying them around. It’s great for bonding, too.
7) Get some white noise going
When your little one was still in your belly, they heard a variety of noises — your heartbeat, the gurgling of your stomach, as well as the whooshing sounds of blood circulating. So, what your sweetie might need is a bit of background noise. Turn on a washing machine or the vacuum cleaner, or download a white-noise app on your mobile. This includes recordings of ocean waves, water dripping or even a repeated “shush” sound.
8) Get up and get moving
Put bubba in the stroller and go for a long, leisurely walk. Sometimes, the distraction of a change in scenery is enough to settle your sweetie. Or take him for a drive — the snug car seat, purring engine and smooth, consistent motion will lull many a fussy baby to sleep.
9) Go dark
Did you know that 45 minutes is the maximum amount of time a newborn can comfortably cope with being stimulated and staying awake? So if there is too much light or noise, or they’ve been passed around cooing relatives like a parcel, take them to a quiet, dark room and rock them gently. Sure-fire soother.