We generally know that when our babies cry they’re trying to tell us something, so we change their nappies, give them a feed and check for signs of illness. But sometimes even these strategies just don’t stop the heartbreaking cries. This is when it’s time to try something a bit more unconventional to soothe your little one.
In fact, moms everywhere have to try all sorts of tricks to get their babies to calm down when they’re inconsolable. We gathered some ideas that have been tried and proven to work, some for newborns and some for older babies.
1. Wrap her up
Your baby spent nine long months in the womb where it was cosy, safe and warm. Try swaddling your newborn for her first few weeks so that she feels similarly comfortable and warm. Swaddling has this effect because it mimics the tight confines of the womb. Shush and sway your baby to imitate the sounds and movements she felt in the womb.
2. Walk it off
Put your new baby in her pram and take a stroll over gravel or bumpy grass. The fresh air will do you both some good and the movement just might soothe her enough to put her to sleep.
3. Noise therapy
The environment your baby experienced in the womb is a lot noisier than you may think, so dead quiet surroundings may just overwhelm her. Start the washing machine up or put a fan on while you shush your baby to sleep to create white noise. Sounds like these helps her to calm down and to feel safe.
- Also see: Music and your baby
4. Loving touch
Calming a crying newborn is all about making her feel comfortable, loved and safe. Rub your baby’s tummy or massage her feet. This helps reassure her that you are there for her and that everything is okay.
5. Turn into a song diva
Sing a soothing song to your baby to try calm her down. You mustn’t be shy; your baby will love your voice no matter what it sounds like! Remember that your voice is one of the first things your baby recognises from the womb.
6. A change in environment
Sometimes babies cry because they are overstimulated. What you can do when this happens is leave the stimulation so that she can calm down. This means taking her out of the room, taking away any toys and turning off the TV or radio.
- Also see: Calming tips for your new baby
7. Brush it aside
If your baby is a little older, rub your fingers through her hair. This helps to distract her. Stand in front of the mirror and lightly brush her hair into different hairstyles – she will soon forget she was even crying.
8. Turn that frown upside down
Make funny faces or noises for your older baby – get creative. The point here is to try to distract your baby from the cause of her crying. Usually fathers and older siblings are very good at this type of distraction.
Also read: How to get your baby into a sleep routine
9. Find a friend
Get a cute furry soft toy you can sit and look at with your baby. A family pet, such as a dog or cat, is also an engaging distraction for little ones when they’re unhappy.
10. Have a break
Pass your baby over to someone else, like your partner or a friend, and take a deep breath to relax. Step out of the room if you have to. Sometimes a crying baby can be frustrating, especially if you’ve tried everything you can think of to calm her down. Accept all the help you can get from friends and family for this reason; you need to look after yourself too!
If none of these work, look at other options, like a visit to the doctor, if your baby is inconsolable with a high-pitched cry and if you suspect she might be coming down with something. Don’t doubt your instinct and don’t feel bad about seeing a doctor often if you’re unsure.
What are you top tips for calming a crying baby? Tell us below.