As soon as you become a mom, you understand that crying and babies go hand in hand. The first thing you search for is How to calm a crying baby? Taking care of your baby, bathing them, feeding them, and soothing them takes the whole of your day and even night sometimes. Getting fussy again and again is the only way of communication your newborn baby knows right now.
Crying of the baby makes you and your partner upset too. Being a new mom, you are still trying to understand what makes your baby cry and how to take care of your baby? Sometimes, this seems like an impossible task. Therefore, we have brought to you some tips and tricks on how to calm a crying baby and also how to calm yourself as a parent.
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Reasons for Baby Crying
First things first, we need to understand why the baby is crying, so that we can calm them properly-
- Gas- Check for any gas which may be bothering your baby. Sometimes air trapped in belly can also make them uncomfortable. So, always make sure that you burp your baby.
- Hunger- Newborn baby have a very small capacity in their stomach. With just one urine and one poop, their stomach gets empty again. So, always check whether your baby is hungry or not.
- Fatigue- When a new-born arrives, everyone gets excited and wants to meet them. This may make them tired. So, if you are unable to calm your baby, chances are they are tired and need rest.
- Dirty Diaper- This is the first thing to check. Babies just don’t like anything wet, so whenever you see them crying uncontrollably check whether their diaper is dry or wet.
- Hot or Cold- Layers work best on baby, but make sure your baby is not feeling too hot or cold and is not uncomfortable.
- Sick- If even after doing above things, you feel you cannot soothe your baby, check if he is sick. Consult your paediatrician if you cannot make it.
How to settle a crying baby?
1. Swaddle your Baby-
Swaddling your baby in a thin blanket is one of the most important things which you should do. Keeping them properly covered in a blanket gives them the feeling as if they are in their mother’s womb and it helps them to sleep better and longer.
If you are not confident about swaddling, you can ask a nurse, they will guide you.
2. Encourage Sucking-
Sometimes this also works, babies enjoy sucking. You can give them pacifiers; to suck this way they won’t suck her thumb or finger. Many babies get calm by sucking.
3. Try a front carrier-
Wearing your baby around you also helps to calm them. Babies enjoy the closeness and warmth of your body. If you find it difficult to carry your baby, you can try holding the baby with the help of a sling or carrier. A carrier is comfortable, as in this your hands are free and you can do other work also.
4. Turn on white noise-
A little soothing music can also help your baby to calm down and sleep. Remember the music you used to play when the baby was in your womb, try to recreate that scene with a low-level sound like fan noise, shower noise, run the vacuum etc. this helps the baby to feel that they are inside your womb again.
5. Rock, sway or glide-
Either you can put your baby in a rocking chair or glider, or you can hold your baby and sit in a rocking chair. This also helps to calm them.
6. Give a massage-
A soothing massage has great power, all your baby needs is warmth and love. Giving your baby skin-to-skin contact can do wonders in soothing babies and also help them to sleep better. Undress your baby, and give them a soothing, low-pressure massage on hands, legs, back, chest and face. This will help them feel good.
7. Head outside-
You can try taking your baby on a drive. Sometimes changing the motion, scene, light, air and temperature work on cranky babies. Also, it helps to improve even your mood.
How to calm yourself (as a parent)
Whatever you learned in your pregnancy was just theoretical, practical is a whole lot different. When your baby does not soothe or gets calm, slowly you reach your patience level and then the crying baby frustrates you. Therefore, it is necessary that you can keep yourself calm and contented-
- Understand your limit- Pay attention to your inner feeling and thought. This will help to understand your personal limit and then you can plan ahead properly. If you feel, you are losing it, it is better to talk to a friend or a relative which can cheer you up.
- Have support- Never be hesitant to ask for support. Being a new mother, already there’s a lot going on and also you need to take care of yourself too. Therefore, if you find anyone who can offer support with housework, meals or even babysitting take the support.
- Don’t aim to be perfect- Parenting is a journey, where you learn one new thing daily. It is not about perfection. Infact, none of the parents are perfect, everyone learns and takes time to understand their baby. So, don’t worry to get everything right on time always. Instead, try to relax and calm yourself.
Understand your baby
If your baby is crying frequently, then it is necessary that you try to understand your baby. Baby keeps changing, and they even give us the signal, it is us parents who need to be more alert and look for the signs.
- Difference in your baby’s cries- As you spend more time with baby, you will slowly understand the changes in their cry. At first, all the crying will look same but then slowly you will be able to understand that which crying means, “I am hungry”, “I am wet”, “I am tired”.
- Changes in mood- Do you feel your baby is more active at a particular time of day. And becomes cranky in the later part of day. It is necessary to understand these signals; this way you will be prepared early for crying.
- Reaction to different situations- Babies are not addicted to every situation, chances are they do not feel good when too many people are around them or they do not like cold weather. You need to look out for these signals and then tackle your baby.
Never shake your baby
Many times we feel that shaking a baby will soothe them, but this is a misconception. You should never shake your baby, because for the following reasons-
- The blood vessels in your baby’s head cannot bear the shaking.
- Shaking can lead to child death and also It can cause damage in your brain, blindness or seizures.
- Parents or caregivers shake their baby vigorously, when they get frustrated.
- There is a shaken baby syndrome and it is 100% preventable.
So, these are some ways on how to calm a crying baby. Remember, just like you are new to this phase your baby is new to this world. You both are trying to adjust to this role and situation. Just try to enjoy the phase and be happy. Your little bundle of joy will grow very soon.