How fast do you move when you hear your baby cry? Most parents acquire stealth speed and can hear their little one from a mile away. No one likes to hear a baby cry. However, newborns are especially good at it; it’s the only way they know how to get your attention. In the first few weeks while you, as parents, are trying to find your parenting groove (and you will), here is a list of things that can help you calm your baby’s cries. You will find in short order that your baby will have a few favorites that will work 98 per cent of the time.
But remember, too, that baby’s only way to relieve stress is to cry. So sometimes when nothing seems to be working and you know baby is fed, clean, healthy and safe, give yourself permission to take a timeout. Put baby safely in their bed and give yourself a few minutes to regroup and take a breath. Then you will be good to pick up this list again and try some other things that may help bring calm back in the mix.
So when you know baby is fed, clean and dry, not too hot or not too cold and not in discomfort, then you can pull out this list and give some a try:
Go for a walk with your baby (the outdoor air can do both of you a world of good).
Swaddle (using your basic receiving blanket or one of the new pre-cut swaddle blankets can be the perfect thing for your newborn. A secure swaddle technique helps them feel snug like when they were in the womb).
Rock in a chair with your baby.
Sway your baby standing up.
Gently bounce on the exercise ball while holding baby snuggly in your arms.
Use the baby swing.
Play white noise (or whispering, “Shhh, shhh, shhh” in your baby’s ear works well, too). There are music player products that have different sound settings like a heartbeat and womb noises that work really well, too.
Run the vacuum or dryer or dishwasher (the noise is magic).
Get singing (or play some music).
Go for a car ride with your baby.
Dance with your baby.
Use some simple toys (if your baby isn’t over-stimulated, then often toys can grab their attention).
Use a sling, wrap or other carrier.
Massage your baby.
Tummy hold (there are a few techniques but any hold that applies gentle pressure on baby’s tummy helps alleviate any bubbles or gas pains they may have).
Bicycle legs (another massage technique which can gently massage out any tummy bubbles).
Give your baby a bath.
Distract your baby.
Eliminate any external stimulation (sometimes baby is over-stimulated and just needs some quiet time).
An “I love you” massage is an anti-colic massage technique that can be found on YouTube.
Snuggle with your baby.
Go out in nature with your baby.
Rock your baby in a cradle or car seat.
Use a steady rhythm in your movement or bouncing.
Know your limits and lean on another family member for support.
Use this list when you are in a pinch and you need a little inspiration to bring back your happy baby. It is nice to know that there really are so many options to try and help your baby when they are not so happy.
Sharon is the owner of Calgary Birth Essentials, and has over 15 years experience educating and supporting families having babies in Calgary. Calgary Birth Essentials offers small group and private prenatal classes, birth doula services and lactation consultations. For more information, visit calgarybirthessentials.com.
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