Soothing a Crying Baby

Sometimes the solution to your baby’s crying is quite obvious. She’s hungry so you feed her. Perhaps her diaper is soiled so you put a fresh one on. But what about those times when you’re not so sure?

Gas Time
It’s common for many newborns to suffer from uncomfortable gas. Although they usually outgrow their difficulties by three or four months, you’ll probably need to help them get relief once or twice before then.

To relieve the gas (and stop those tears), try laying them on their back and gently pumping their legs. If that doesn’t work, then lightly rub their stomach in a downward motion, as though you were digging in the ground. Try this two or three times and then gently bring their knees up to their chest. Hopefully, this will do the trick, but if it doesn’t then softly rub their stomach in a clockwise motion two or three times. Bring their knees up to their chest again to help them pass the gas.

If you breastfeed, try adjusting your feeding routine so that you can help prevent the gas in the first place. Avoid switching breasts during the meal. Also, keep your little one’s head above her stomach. This will help to slow down the flow of milk, which will keep her from swallowing too much air.

Your baby might be crying if he's cold or if he's too warm. Try adding or taking away a layer of clothing.

Tired of Being a Celebrity
Perhaps your baby just wants some attention; the easiest solution is to pick her up and hold her. Perhaps you’ve just spent the evening at a family function where everyone was "oohhing" and "aahhing" over your little one. Then your baby is probably sick of the limelight and would like to spend some quiet time away from everyone. Find a quite place and sit with your baby until the tears stop.

Sometimes, though, babies cry for reasons that parents just can’t identify. If you’re not sure what is causing your baby’s tears, then try some of these tried and tested methods.

Good Vibrations
Put your baby in his car seat and place him on top of the washer or dryer while it’s running. Many babies love the constant vibration. Just make sure you hold on to that seat the entire time.

Another method thousands of parents swear by is the car ride. Whether it’s the movement or the change of scenery, car rides have stopped the tears of many babies. Try to find a route with a lot of right turns so that your little one doesn’t start crying again at every stop.

The Power of Touch
It is amazing how touch and skin-to-skin contact can calm a crying baby. Try giving your baby a gentle massage to ease their tears. You might also want to lay her on her back and move her legs in a bicycling motion.

One popular method of stopping a baby’s tears is to put him in a front carry pack and walk around with him. Sing, talk and hum to him while you go about your day. The close contact to your body will let your little one feel safe and warm. In fact, a study done in Montreal, Canada found that babies who were carried around by their mothers often cried less than babies who weren’t carried. So strap him into that front pack and do your chores!

Get Moving
Movement is a great baby soother. Pick your baby up in your arms and gently dance and sway with her in front of a mirror. She’ll enjoy the movement and being able to see herself.

Just like us, babies can get bored with their surroundings. So if you’ve been inside all day, take a stroll outside. If you’ve been outside all day, head inside.

If you have a bouncy chair, place your baby in it and swing a receiving blanket or burp cloth in front of his face. Play peek-a-boo with him.

All the White Sounds
White noise can be especially soothing for many babies. Try running the vacuum, the dishwasher or a hair dryer. You can also tune the radio to a static station and let your baby listen to that. Just be sure to keep the volume low.

When all else fails, then try setting a calming mood. Dim the lights, put on some white noise, wrap your baby up in some warm blankets and just let her enjoy the mellow atmosphere.

If none of these tips seem to help, you may want to consider asking your doctor or midwife about colic. Colic can really fray a parents nerves, so it's important to learn how to cope with a colicky baby.

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