There's nothing more heart-wrenching—and, let's face it, sometimes nerve-wracking—than a wailing infant. Here are a few ways to soothe your sweet little crybaby.
You will need
- A crying baby
- As much patience as you can muster
- A bottle for the baby (optional) (optional)
- A pacifier (optional) (optional)
- Music or noise that's soothing to your baby
- like humming (optional) (optional)
- An exercise ball (optional) (optional)
- A warm bath (optional) (optional)
- And a baby toy (optional) (optional)
Step 1 Try to find reason Check all the obvious reasons the baby might be crying. In babies under 3 months old, crying is almost always a sign of physical need–she may be hungry or gassy or wet or hot or just plain uncomfortable. So offer a breast or bottle, burp her, check her diaper, make sure her clothes aren’t pinching, and so on.
Step 2 Offer pacifier or thumb Offer the baby a pacifier, help her find her thumb, or slip your own clean pinkie into her mouth, nail side down.
Step 3 Make soothing noises Make some soothing noises. Sing, hum, or gently shush her. Some babies may also be calmed by the sound of a running faucet, a radio set on static, a recording of nature sounds or white noise–even the steady hum of the vacuum cleaner.
Step 4 Try movement Try movement. Take her outside for a walk or a car ride, gently dance with her in your arms or a sling, rock her side-to-side, or just walk around the room.
If you just can’t make another lap around the room, try sitting on an exercise ball and gently bouncing while holding your baby.
Step 5 Try massage or bath Try massaging her or putting her in a warm, soothing bath.
For babies who become invigorated by a massage or bath, it’s best not to use these methods to try to soothe them while crying.
Step 6 Change scenery Change the scenery. Give her something new to look at, by turning on the ceiling fan or showing her a toy. And remember to stay calm and patient–after all, she can’t cry forever.
The average newborn cries 2 hours per day–an infant who cries inconsolably at least 3 hours a day for at least 3 days a week probably has colic and will outgrow it by 3 months.