Babies cry. It is a simple fact of life.
A lot of this has to do with the fact that crying is the only way the baby has to communicate with you that something is wrong.
Here are six ways to soothe your crying baby when she is crying.
1. Address the problem.
Try to figure out why your baby is crying and address the problem.
Does baby’s diaper need changing? Is she hungry? Is she tired? Is she sick? While all cries may sound alike to you at first, if you pay attention you will soon discover that cries that mean different things have different sounds.
A high shrill cry, for example, usually means pain, while a whining cry is usually more indicative of being tired. The better you can understand your baby’s problems and address them, the less your baby will cry.
2. Cuddle baby closely.
Before your baby was born, she was in a small space, and felt your touch all around her. Let her experience that same closeness now by cuddling with her.
Try swaddling her in a blanket. Let her feel your touch, and smell your smell. Your baby is uniquely attuned to her mother, and she will be comforted by close contact with you.
3. Rock your baby.
When you were pregnant, your baby was used to the frequent movements of your body. Your baby will still be soothed by movement. Try rocking your baby, or patting her gently in a rhythmic fashion.
If you have a birth ball, try sitting on the ball and gently bouncing up and down. Babies who like movement and physical closeness often do quite well when worn in a baby sling.
Baby might also like going outside for a walk, weather permitting, either in a carriage, baby carrier or sling, or even a stroller. There are a number of seats for babies that rock or swing that can be used indoors.
4. Sing to baby.
There’s a reason lullabies are so popular: babies love the sound of a human voice. Your baby spent many months listening to the sound of your voice before she was born. She will be comforted by your voice now.
Try singing to her, whether it is a lullaby or just your favorite rock song at a slower tempo. Right now it’s the voice, not the words that are soothing to her. You can also just talk to her in a reassuring voice, and making soothing sounds.
5. White out.
The womb is a noisy place. Babies hear a lot of thumping and whooshing, which makes white noise a natural soother.
Consider using a white noise machine, a small fan (aimed away from baby), a machine that produces atmospheric effects like rain or surf, or even playing a CD of appropriate sounds.
There are even special baby toys that reproduce womb sounds that some babies find very soothing. Some moms swear by running the vacuum cleaner or washing machine!
6. Pucker up.
Babies have an instinctive need to suck. Try offering your baby your breast if you are breastfeeding, or a bottle.
Your baby may not need a full meal; she may just be thirsty. You can also try a pacifier to help meet baby’s needs for comfort sucking.