Calming Your Baby

Calm Crying Baby

When my baby used to cry, I used to feel distraught, anxious and helpless. My husband explained to me that baby’s cry, it’s normal. That helped me feel a lot better when my son cried but of course, I also knew, instinctually that my job as Mommy was to restore calm to him and our household.  So I sought the counsel of friends and read posts to find the best ways to soothe my precious boy. All of the ways I found in my own research are also in the excellent contributed post below. At the end I will highlight which methods worked best for me.

Calming Your Baby

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Our babies are the light of our lives. It can be difficult to see them stressed and upset, and as a parent we want to make sure that they are happy and healthy at all times. When we see our baby crying it can be difficult to identify exactly what is wrong, but our first instinct is to do whatever we can to calm them.

Swaddle Your Baby

The first way you can calm your baby is to swaddle them in a large, thin blanket. This will help your baby to feel secure and safe, and will likely stop them crying. You can buy swaddle blankets online, check it out!

Hold Your Baby

You can also simply hold your baby in your arms. By placing your baby on her left side while holding her, you will be able to aid digestion and help your baby to feel soothed. By rubbing her back you may free any trapped air and you may even have them fall asleep in your arms. Just remember that when your baby is sleeping they need to be lying on their back.

Play Calming Sounds to Your Baby

To make a more calming atmosphere for your baby, you will be able to turn on a calming sound such as waves or white noise to remind your baby of being tucked up safe inside the womb. This will help your baby to stay calm and fall asleep at night.

Rock or Carry Your Baby in a Wrap or Carrier

If any of these things don’t calm your baby, you will need to walk your baby in a body carrier or rock her from side to side. Often moving around gently will remind your baby of what it felt like to be in the womb, and in turn it will calm them.

Feed Your Baby

For breastfed babies: if you are looking to change your babies diet and you are breastfeeding, you will need to change your own diet.

If your baby seems to be sensitive to your milk, you may need to discuss a change of diet with your doctor. You can make changes to your babies diet by:

Cutting down on dairy and coffee but if it doesn’t do anything you can resume your normal diet. Try to avoid spicy foods and foods which cause a lot of gas such as cabbage and beans.

For bottle-fed babies: consult your doctor to find out what the best course of action is. A change of formula might do the trick.

To prevent your child from feeling sick and becoming agitated, you will need to avoid feeding her too much and always make sure that you wait enough time between each feeding for your baby to digest its food.  If the time hasn’t come yet to feed your baby and they are stressed, try giving them a pacifier to help them stay calm.

Ensure Your Baby has enough Sleep

Sleep is incredibly important for your baby, so try monitoring when they are sleeping, awake, crying and eating. Write down how long it take for your child to eat and also record when your baby cries. You may find that your baby cries after eating or if they can’t sleep, and this needs to be addressed by your doctor. Try to limit your baby’s naps to 3 hours each day. If they have more than this they might end up struggling to sleep through the night.

What does your baby need?

Once you have calmed your baby,you will want to work out what it is that they need from you. Your baby will always cry for a reason, and finding out that reason will allow you to help them stay calm.

Hungry?

Look out for the signs that your child might be hungry. These include moving her fists to her mouth, and also lip smacking. This will allow you to make up some food for your baby before she starts to cry.

Temperature?

If your baby is too hot or too cold, this can cause them to cry. Make sure you dress your baby in the same sort of clothes as you, to make sure that they will be a comfortable temperature.

Wet or soiled?

Always check the diaper if your baby cries. 9 times out of 10 it will be this that causes your baby to become upset.

Spitting up or vomiting?

If your child is vomiting much more than normal,  she could be suffering from colic or gastroesophageal reflux (GER). Contact your doctor as soon as you can to see what’s going on. You may notice signs such as your baby being fussy after food, gaining or losing weight, and spitting excessively.

Sick?

If you suspect that your child may be ill, check their temperature. If your child’s temperature is very high, contact your doctor straight away.

Bored?

Just like you, your child will get bored every now and again. If you think your baby might be bored, take them for a walk or sing to them.

Taking a break for yourself

Remember that taking care of a baby is exhausting, and you will need to take a breather every so often to clear your mind and refresh. If you are feeling stressed and need to calm yourself:

Take a step back, a deep breath and close your eyes. Place your baby in their crib and leave the room, let them cry for 10 minutes alone. This will determine whether your baby is just after attention or they need something. It will also give you the chance to have a breather.

While your baby is alone, consider some of the ways you can calm yourself before you go back in there. You may want to listen to some music, watch a video, have a snack or call your family for support.

Try to be patient. You are only human and it is totally normal to feel frustrated and stressed out when your baby cries, but it is not their fault. Stay calm and keep a smile on your face. You have made a beautiful baby and you need to keep her safe and happy. Try your best to do all of the above and calm them down.

Aaaaw, isn’t this amazing advice? For me what worked best to calm my little one was rocking, holding, shushing (soothing sounds) and, of course, breastfeeding. I created a whole site about extended breastfeeding.  Swaddling didn’t work with my son as he didn’t like being hot or restricted. He also only enjoyed walks in a forward facing baby carrier so much as I would have loved to hold him close in a wrap, that wasn’t an option for us.

The important thing to remember is your baby is unique. The more soothing methods you know, the more you can try out. And just when you think you’ve mastered soothing your baby, they may reach a new phase of development and what worked before, no longer works. So keep testing and finding whatever works.

How did you calm your crying baby? Did we miss anything?

About Lauren Kinghorn

Inspiring the Spotlight on Mom Entrepreneurs

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