Calming a baby can seem like the most impossible task when you feel like crying yourself!
Emily from Buzzparents is here with a few of her top tips to help you out!
It can be really stressful as a new parent when your infant just won’t stop crying.
Many parents worry that their baby cries too much, but in fact the average newborn spends 2 or 3 hours a day crying!
Of course this isn’t good news for parents – seeing your little one crying a lot can be difficult.
Thankfully, there are some relatively simple ways to calm a crying baby, which can really help when you’re getting exhausted.
Lifesaving Secrets to Calming a Baby
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1. Rocking and swaying
It’s a tried and tested method that works on just about all babies.
Hold your baby close and gently rock or sway from side to side. Alternatively, push them back and forth in their stroller, or rock them in a swing seat.
These movements mimic being in the womb, so are really soothing for newborns. However, this technique becomes more difficult as baby gets longer and heavier.
You could also try sitting on a fitness ball and bouncing up and down whilst holding baby, to give yourself a bit of a break!
2. White noise
Again, this mimics what it’s like for a baby in utero.
There are apps available which offer sounds such as rainfall or waves, which can be really useful in calming down a baby who won’t stop crying.
Other similar noises which might work are fans, the vacuum cleaner or a hairdryer.
Of course, it might be more practical to record these sounds so you don’t have to start cleaning the carpets at 3am when your little one won’t settle!
You can also try a white noise machine, like this one!
Infant massage is a great way for moms and dads to bond with their new baby, and it can also be a great part of the bedtime routine.
Use long, smooth strokes to help relaxation, and try a little oil to help your hands move more smoothly if you like.
It’s important to note here, however, that oils should not be used on infants under 4 weeks of age due to the thin, easily damaged skin.
4. Remove distractions
Some babies are very sensitive to stimuli and will relax and sleep better if they are removed.
This can be disheartening if you have spent weeks decorating the nursery ready for your new arrival.
It’s a good idea to try removing the crib mobile crib mobile and using plain sheets without strong patterns.
In the womb, the baby wasn’t used to all these stimuli, so it can be more comforting when they are removed.
This is a classic technique that really works.
It’s easy to swaddle an infant once you know how, and there are even special blankets which make the process even easier.
Try warming the blanket in the tumble drier before wrapping your little one up to help them feel even more comfortable.
Ensure the lights are turned down low to help them get ready for sleep.
6. Skin to skin contact
This is another classic way to help a newborn feel more relaxed.
Unbutton or remove your shirt and strip baby down to their diaper.
Lay baby on your chest, and cuddle up under a soft blanket if it’s cold.
Just make sure you won’t fall asleep in a dangerous position, such as sitting on the sofa, with your baby.
7. Take some time out
If you are feeling really stressed, leave your baby in a safe place like their crib and walk away for a couple of minutes to calm down.
This is important if you feel like you might end up harming your baby. You never know, they might even fall asleep!
Sometimes, parents try too hard, and the little one falls asleep when left alone!
If you can, ask someone else to take over for a while. Your baby might calm down quickly – infants often pick up on parents’ stress, which can lead to them being unable to relax. Newborns should not be left to ‘cry it out’ for more than a few minutes, as it can be very stressful and damaging for them.
About the Author: Emily Dick has recently graduated with an Honors Degree from the Open University in the field of social science. She currently creates content for Buzzparent, where she enjoys writing about a range of topics such as parenting tips and advice, and reviewing the latest toys and games for children.
Emily is currently raising her two-year-old daughter, and two pet cats. She is working on plans to open a children’s soft play and activity center in her local town, as well as coming up with ideas for children’s picture books with her daughter.