Tips for Soothing a Crying Baby

By Jacalyn S. Burke

The hardest thing for any new parent is the sound of their baby crying non-stop. All kinds of thoughts pass through our minds. Often the reasons are quite simple.

  1. Hunger. Breast-fed babies experience symptoms of hunger more than formula fed babies. A mother’s milk is thinner and a baby takes in smaller amounts. Offer your infant more milk and gauge the response.
  2. Discomfort. Is your baby in a wet or soiled diaper? Is your baby too hot or too cold? Babies are extremely sensitive to temperature changes.
  3. Exhaustion. Infants require a lot of sleep, particularly newborns as they adjust to a daytime and night-time schedule. Most babies need to sleep after a feeding.

Not one of those things?

  • Pain. Most parents will notice the difference in the way their baby cries. Often the cry will be a sharp, shrill sound that comes in bursts especially if baby is suffering from gas.
  • Sick. If a baby’s cry is like a long whine or moan, this might indicate illness. Look for other symptoms like a rash, wet eyes or running nose, or a fever.
  • Shocked. Did you drop a plate and cause your baby to be startled? Loud noises or a disturbance can set our infant off.
  • Bored. Everyone gets bored including babies. Has our infant spent too much time in a quiet environment? Babies like a change in tempo.
  • Over-stimulated. Alternatively our baby might be exposed to too many people or bright lights or noise?

If your infant is not subject to any of the above – how can you remedy the crying?

  1. Create some white noise. Download an app that offers common sounds like a washing machine, a human heart beat, or a rain storm or new age music.
  2. Take your baby for a walk or a drive. Motion and movement can help distract our infant from a source of stress.
  3. Sing songs. There’s nothing more soothing than a gentle lullaby or nursery rhyme to calm a baby down.
  4. Talk
    gently. A baby is often relaxed by our soothing voice. Hold your baby close and talk to him or her.  Your calmness can often transfer.
  5. Swaddle or keep your baby close to your body in a cloth carrier. Your baby spent 9-months inside of your body and being held close, smelling and feeling your warmth can mimic that safe experience of being in the womb.

What are your tips for soothing a crying baby?

Have you read this book yet?

“As an insider, Jacalyn Burke dares to tell us things about nannies that we don’t usually hear: she reveals the feelings of exploitation and mutual resentment that can fuel inadequate and sometimes even abusive care. This is a story we need to listen to. It’s important not only for the sake of the children themselves, but also to society as a whole.”
(Dr. Sue Gerhardt, Psychotherapist, Author of Why Love Matters and The Selfish Society)

Order it here.