There are so many reasons for newborn crying: babies cry due to hunger, sleep, tiredness, boredom, loneliness, a soiled diaper, colic, teething, need to burp, over-excitement or being unwell to mention the most likely reasons.
So basically a newborn’s reaction to most things is crying – crying is the principle means of communication after all! Having said that, it isn’t any easier for parents to bear their newborn crying in that disconsolate manner. So what can you do to soothe a crying baby? Here are some tips:
1. Check the basics
Since hunger, a soiled diaper, a need to burp or sleepiness are the most common causes for a baby’s bawling, check these first. If soiled change the diaper; if baby is hungry, offer a feed; or try and burp baby.
Offering a feed will take care of hunger as well as tiredness because babies are soothed by the rhythmic action of sucking, and this may relax them enough for them to nod off to sleep without fuss.
2. Is it colic?
Another one of the most common reasons for newborn crying is colic. You can tell if its colic if baby seems to draw up the legs and cry as though in pain. Also colic pain tends to be predictable, occurring at certain times during the day.
Hold baby so that his stomach is pressed up against your chest or hold him face down across your lap so that his stomach is pressed against your thighs. This can bring babies instant relief from stomach distension. Use colic drops or gripe water or whatever your pediatricianhas recommended for colic.
3. Rock your baby or move with her
A lot of your newborn’s crying is because of the need to be held; the need for simple, comforting contact. In the womb baby was used to a dark, warm comforting cocooned environment 24×7. Now there are bright lights, loneliness, confusion and a lack of constant human warmth and contact.
Remember you cannot spoil a baby by holding her. Holding and rocking your baby, speaking soothingly to her will work for newborn crying more often than not. Since you cannot hold your baby all the time, try swaddling her, put daddy on duty for a while or just put her in a sling so she can remain close to you as you do other stuff.
4. Take her for a ride
A ride in a pram or buggy or even a car ride where your baby sees trees, cars and other folk going past, usually works. Also the motion of a car or buggy is something that most kids are soothed by. Harried parents will find that baby has nodded off to sleep when they return from a brief ride.
5. Offer her a distraction or don’t!
Newborn crying can be soothed by stimulation so if your baby is older than three months. A new toy or some familiar object may divert his attention from crying. Sometimes it could be overstimulation that makes a child cry so try and lower the level of stimulation: dim the lights, remove objects of distraction and try to calm the child.
6. Calm yourself
At times it is the parents’ agitation that communicates itself to baby, making him cry. So if you want to soothe newborn crying, try and calm down yourself. Take deep breaths, and understand that baby is not crying just to annoy you!