Have you met all your baby’s needs, but still can’t seem to calm him down?
It’s pretty normal for babies to cry. I mean that’s how they communicate with you. But if you’ve already fed, changed, burped, and made sure you baby has gotten enough sleep, then you’ll need to take other measures to settle him down.
And, when you know that 5%-25% of all infants have colic, you simply can’t ignore any calming techniques.
And…it’s not just colic. Your baby can also suffer from reflux and sensitivities to the environment. You need to have a proper guideline to help soothe your baby and save your sanity.
As a mother of two beautiful kids, I did everything needed to help keep them calm. Some techniques I devised on my own and others I learned from the community.
Below, I share 7 lifesaving secrets that can help keep your baby calm for most of the time. If one doesn’t work, I’m sure one of the others will.
*This is a guest post, written by Sujana Wilson. Sujana is a dynamic mother, always on the lookout for fun activities with her precious daughter and fun-loving techie husband. She is keen to share everything that she has learned on her site smilyparents.com.
7 Proven Ways to Calm a Crying Baby
1. Sucking— Elementary, Yet Important!
Did you know sucking can reduce heart rate and stress in babies?
Nursing on demand is best for newborns, but sometimes breastfeeding just might not be enough to keep your baby calm. Especially, if you’re in the car or a new place.
As babies are used to sucking their fingers inside the womb, they will continue the habit for some time. So, you can put your own fingers to use or try pacifier instead.
You should introduce the pacifier at about one month’s age (after breastfeeding is well established). It should be enough to keep him calm when he is full and still wants to suck.
2. White Noise— Recreate the Mother’s Womb
Many babies tend to sleep better with white noise. This is a kind of noise that mimics the sound of the mother’s womb.
If you have a busy home with people around, this can help to distract your baby from the chaos.
If you are getting a white noise machine, try to keep it at least 7 feet away from where your baby is resting and lower the volume.
3. Baby Massage— Not Many Parents Know About This!
Nobody told me that you can actually massage your baby and it can help keep him calm. But one day, I was just playing with him and rubbed his feet and chest. He stopped crying and looked more relaxed!
Turns out, infant massage helps alleviate reflux, colic, gas, and constipation. It promotes good sleep, and let’s your baby know that he has more space to move, now that he’s out of his mother’s womb.
You can try massaging your baby once or twice a day. Start from the chest, then arms, fingers and feet. Use gentle and circular motions, and make sure you’re going clockwise around baby’s tummy, as that is the way the digestive system runs.
Be sure to check out the clip below from the well-known yoga instructor, Kelsy Livic.
4. Rocking and Swinging for Reflux Babies
Rocking your baby by holding him close is a very basic way to soothe your baby. But that won’t be sufficient if your baby has reflux and needs to sit in an upright position to help alleviate his symptoms.
You can get a good swing for your reflux baby and it will keep him entertained and calm. The swinging motion along with white noise is the easiest way to handle colicky and reflux-prone babies, especially if you’re a busy parent.
Just be sure to not let your baby sleep unsupervised in the swing and to not use for extended periods at a time.
5. Swaddling— Makes Your Baby Feel Secured
Swaddling is probably the oldest technique to calm a baby. In fact, most moms do it instinctively without knowing the benefits.
You can use a blanket and warm it a bit and then wrap it around your baby. You can leave the arms out for sucking and keep the hips lose.
Swaddling recreates the feeling of the womb, makes your baby feel secure, and promotes better sleep.
Just be sure to not overdress your baby so he doesn’t get overheated. You’ll also want to stop swaddling once your baby can roll over or if he is consistently breaking free of his swaddle.
6. Don’t Forget About Colic Carry
There are a number of ways you can accomplish a colic carry. My personal favorite is the 45-angle rock colic carry! It’s easy and makes your baby calm in no time.
- Grab the baby across his chest, so the arms are folded.
- Secure both his arms and shift to another hand.
- Now grab the diaper area with the empty hand and gently rock him at a 45-degree angle.
The best demonstration I could find is from pediatrician, Robert C. Hamilton:
7. Wear Your Baby and Go Outside
If everything fails, take your baby outside. Use a soft structured carrier, ring sling, or wrap to carry your baby. This will help to give your baby a little bit of “swing” and also keeps your hands free.
Taking a walk in a park can surely improve your baby’s mood…and your’s too! The fresh air, sunlight, and natural environment will refresh your baby and also help keep him distracted.
A Few Final Words…
If you just rely on one single technique, it probably won’t be very effective. Mix it up based on what you think is right at the moment.
There is no permanent solution for a fussy baby. As a mother, you will have to cope with the stress and figure out what works best for your baby.
However, if you feel your baby is crying too much or is too sensitive to new stimuli, it’s best to consult your pediatrician for advice.
What About You?
What has helped calm your fussy baby? Share your best techniques for calming a crying baby in the comments below, and be sure to share this post with other new moms and dads.