Imagine your baby’s been fed, burped, diaper changed, and rested, yet her tears keep coming … An inconsolable baby is heartbreaking to hear, and it can create some serious hand-wringing for new parents.
Babies cry for all kinds of reasons, so whether it’s fatigue, overstimulation or colic, here are some tips for soothing your baby’s tears.
1. Make Some Noise
The womb is a noisy space, and babies love white noise sounds like vacuum cleaners, running water, and washing machines. But instead of burning out your household appliances, pick up a white noise gadget or download an app you can use to calm your baby on the spot. And if you find yourself in the car with a wailing baby, try turning your car radio to an AM station with static—sounds crazy, but it’s been known to work!
2. The 5 S's
Dr. Harvey Karp’s method, detailed in his book The Happiest Baby on the Block, is a major go-to for new moms and dads. Dr. Karp’s tried-and-true method is built around the idea of recreating sensations from the womb: swaddling, side/stomach hold, shushing, swinging, and sucking.
3. Switch Positions
Dr. Robert Hamilton came up with “The Hold” and his video on how it calms babies in a jiffy is pretty impressive—no wonder it went viral! Also, hold positions that give babies gentle hand pressure on their belly is especially soothing for stomach discomfort and colic.
4. Peace & Quiet
While white noise is effective, an environment that is bright, loud or too busy can be over-stimulating. To calm your crying baby, find a quiet, space where you can relax and use soothing techniques.
5. The Great Outdoors
Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need to go from crying to calm. Take a walk around the block, go to the park, or just step outside; sunlight helps regulate sleep hormones and the fresh air will do you both a world of good.
6. Moving Images
Bright, contrasting colors are fascinating to babies. Bust out some colorful fabric or try a crib mobile that plays peaceful sounds and projects images. There are also apps like this one that display simple black and white images that babies find relaxing.
7. Infant Massage
Who doesn’t love a relaxing massage? You can make infant massage part of your daily routine (like after bath time and before sleep), and doing gentle leg movements is really helpful for soothing gassy babies.
8. Get Moving
If your baby likes being in motion, take a drive, dance around, use a swing or infant seat that mimics your swaying motions, or plop down in a rocking chair to give you and your baby some tear-free rest.
9. Wear Your Baby
Babies love being right next to Mom’s body, and using a baby sling or carrier gives you hands-free, tear-free time to get stuff done.
10. Pacify Her
Sucking is a natural soothing measure for babies, so if yours isn’t a thumb sucker, grab a pacifier and give it a go. At this early stage, don’t worry about creating bad habits—calm and comfort for your baby is the goal.