Crying is a baby’s way to communicate with you. They can’t talk yet so they need to know they want something. Unfortunately for you that means trying to figure out just what baby doesn’t like. Sometimes its obvious like a smelly diaper. Other times your baby will appear to cry for no reason. We asked parents the techniques they used to calm a crying baby and put them together for you. Check out what we found.
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31 Ways to Calm a Crying Baby
The most common way to calm your baby is the ‘shush’. When your baby begins to cry you instinctively pick them up, lightly rock them and repeat a ‘shush’ sound over and over. This helps when your baby just wants a bit of comfort from you.
2. Skin to Skin
The feeling of closeness from your skin touching babies offers so many benefits. It stimulates oxytocin levels in you and baby. This calms soothes and improves bonding between you. It also helps improve breast milk supply.
The snug swaddle technique is perfect for calming newborn babies. They feel comforted by the tight sensation as it reminds them of being in the womb. Check out our guide to swaddling here.
4. Baby Carrier
It’s natural for a baby to want to be held all the time. It’s a natural instinct to make them feel safe and protected. Baby carrier also you to keep baby close at all time while having your hands free to do day to day task. Check out our baby carrier guide here.
5. Car Seat
The snug and curved environment of a car seat is very womb-like for babies. Some babies may fall asleep simply by placing them in the car seat, other baby’s may need the whole car journey.
6. Stroller Ride
If you don’t want to go the whole hog with a car ride a stroller can have the same effects. The motion is what helps to calm your baby and soothe them to sleep.
Listening to the music you liked during your pregnancy can comfort your baby. The music genre won’t matter even if it was hardcore heavy metal. Babies can hear sounds inside the womb and the bass and beat rhythms can help them recreate that feeling of comfort.
Your voice is very comforting to a baby as they have heard it since their hearing developed. For a baby who needs to be soothed, you can talk in a low, soothing tone. If your baby wants attention you can go with an excitable pitch.
9. White Noise
White noise is soothing to your baby as it is rhythmic. It reminds them of hearing the swooshing of your blood flow and amniotic fluid in the womb. Simple white noise such as a vacuum cleaner, washing machine or dryer can send your baby to sleep. You can also buy a white noise machine which can be set up in the nursery to use overnight.
10. Change Nappy
Usually, poppy diapers are easy to detect because of the tell-tale smell. Hover wet diapers are a little trickery. Modern diapers are so absorbent it can be difficult to tell if they are wet or not. If you are unsure place a cotton wool ball in the front of baby’s diaper as it changes appearance when wet.
11. Offer A Feed
Whether you are breast or bottle feeding your baby may be hungry. Babies go through a number of growth spurts in the first few weeks. The get the energy to grow they need to feed more often. Always calm your baby until they stop crying and observe for hunger cues.
12. Wind Baby
Just think how bad trapped wind makes you feel. It’s a painful knotting sensation your baby doesn’t understand. Pick up your baby and pat them on the back during feeds or just after. Remember to keep a burp cloth at hand for any vomits.
13. Bike Rides
If your baby appears to be suffering from colic then try this simple exercise. Lie baby on their back, hold a foot in each and flex the knees up and down. It should look like you baby is rising an imaginary bicycle. This can help to relieve any trapped wind caught in baby’s tummy.
14. Colic Drop
Medicine drops for babies can have ingredients to naturally relieve the symptoms of gas. These are often the last resort for parents struggling with days or weeks of colicky crying. We would highly recommended Hylands Gas Drops or Colief Infant drops.
You may think your baby is too young to be teething, but they can appear at any time. Some babies are born with teeth. Signs include gnawing at everything in sight or rubbing their mouth a lot. Check their gums for any signs of erupting teeth. Cool relief, teething toys or teething gel are the most popular methods to ease the pain for baby. Make sure any method is age appropriate.
16. Give To Dad
Your baby is very fine tuned to you and can sense when you are stressed. If the crying is becoming too much for you or your feeling overwhelmed then hand your baby to another caregiver. Even if it’s only for a 5-minute break, it can really help clear your head. Baby will probably fall asleep easier on dad or grandma if they are calm and relaxed.
17. Check Temperature
If you feel the room is too hot or cold, then your baby will feel this too. Check they are not overheating or have enough layers to keep them warm. Checking baby’s temperature can also show any early signs that baby is feeling unwell and needs medical attention.
If your baby falls asleep in the bath, then use it to calm them. You don’t even need to give a full bath. Sometimes a simple head wash over the sink can be enough to calm them. Just remember to keep them warm. Check out our guide on how to bath a newborn baby.
Touch is the perfect way to show baby they are safe and protected. Just like an adult massage it really helps to relax them and can even help with colic or gas symptoms. A nice calming massage oil can help baby to remain calm.
20. Figure Of 8
This technique is perfect if you have a smooth surface (laminate floor or a large dining table), and a thick changing mat. Lie baby on the mat and start sliding it along the surface in a figure of 8. The motion should be consistent at a medium pace, not too fast or too slow.
21. Leave Them Alone
This may seem a strange suggestion but sometimes your baby is crying because they are overstimulated. If you’ve had guests around or a day out, it may be just too much for them. Settle them down in a nice calm area, but let them know you are still around.
22. The ‘Hold’
This technique is particularly great for babies with little neck and back control. Check out these video of how to calm your baby with ‘the hold’.
23. Stroke The Head
The power of touch for your baby is amazing. Stroking your baby’s head can be particularly comforting to them. You can do this when you are holding them or they are in a crib or swing. It lets baby know you are present and make them feel safe.
24. Hand On Chest
When your baby is lying to sleep a good way to calm them without talking is to place your hand lightly on their chest. Again it alerts them to your preference until they feel calm enough to drift off. This is a good technique for getting your baby into a sleep routine.
25. Check Clothing
Sometime your baby may be irritated by their clothing. Check there are no tags or threads rubbing or catching on their delicate skin. It’s best to use a non-biological detergent at least until your baby is 3 months old as it can irritate them.
A simple change of environment can calm baby. They may need to be stimulated for because they are bored or to calm down because it’s overwhelming. It may be something simple as turning down the TV or calming down over-excited siblings.
Babies are born with a very strong suckling reflex. That means that sucking comforts them even when they are not hungry. You may want to try a pacifier however but if you want to avoid using one then let them suckle on your clean finger or knuckle.
28. Position Change
Try placing baby in a different position. If your baby suffers from wind or colic then they tend to prefer an upright position. As they grow older your baby may prefer to have a little tummy time so they can explore and develop their back muscles.
29. Baby Swing
Another way for baby to be calmed by a gentle rocking motion is to place them in a baby swing. These wings usually have additional features such as vibration or music which helps you combine a few comfort techniques.
30. Nursing Chair
A nursing chair is a perfect place to calm your baby. You’ll use it mostly for feeding so your baby will associate it with comfort. Choose one with a gentle gliding action to soothe baby as you hold them. Place the chair in a quiet and calm area of the house with minimal distractions. Check out our nursing glider buying guide here.
31. Comfort Blanket
Your baby can be comforted by a familiar object such as a blanket or toy they can cuddle in to. If you will be parted from baby for a short time, keep the item close to you so it picks up your smell. When you leave baby will remain comforted by your scent. This is also a good technique for when you move your baby into their own room.
We hope you found these baby comfort tips helpful. Let us know if you have your own technique to calm a crying baby tell other moms about it below.