This is me, thinking out loud and sharing my experience with all the new and not so new moms out there. Here are 10 common reasons why babies cry and 10 ways on how to soothe the crying baby. I have put together ten most common and effective ways to soothe a baby, which I have come across through my experience. These tricks are also in many books, articles and forums that I read while going through some hard times with my son. A few of these tricks have been recommended to me by an Expert Pediatrician who has helped and still is helping with any question we throw her way. One of the things she will always say is that baby crying is common and it is the way our baby tells us she is unhappy with something. This is where we, the mommies come in and make sure to pay attention and run through all the possibilities to try and make our baby feel happy. It is not always an easy task, so keep calm and patient.
Create Physical Contact With Your Baby
Prior to birth babies live in a small and familiar surrounding with mother’s heartbeat constantly present reminding them that they are safe. Very often the reason behind baby’s cry is just the need to feel mommy’s familiar touch and soothing heartbeat. Direct skin to skin contact stimulates the release of calming hormones including oxytocin or otherwise called the “bonding hormone”.
It has always been a big dilemma how strict moms should be with baby's nursing schedule. Babies generally breastfeed approximately every three hours, but keep in mind that this is a generalization and it’s not the case for all babies. Your babies cry may be that she is asking to eat. Some babies especially while they are still small aren’t strong enough to eat a big portion that will last them three or more hours. This is why they ask to be breastfed more frequently. This is okay while babies are still small. Don’t worry and let the baby nurse when she is asking because babies that nurse more often don’t necessarily eat more. It just means they eat smaller portions and hence need to eat more often. Once your baby reaches her strength she will eat more at once and less frequently. You are there to help her reach the strength she needs to grow.
Baby May Not Enjoy Bath Time
Not all babies enjoy bath time. Some babies don't like bath time and will cry at bath time to show their dissatisfaction. If your baby doesn't like bath time it is okay not to bathe your baby every day. Sometimes it will be enough to take a soft cloth wet it with lukewarm water and wipe your baby gently. Babies sensitive to temperature change are more likely to enjoy the wiping time if you wipe them part by part. For example do your babies upper body and arms first and then dress her, and then do her bottom and her legs.
Get Your Baby on a Schedule
Establish an appropriate baby schedule for your baby and yourself. Babies love structure and order because they make things familiar and expected, which makes the baby feel safe. Try and organize your days, so that all the simple activities such as walks, bath, meal times come around the same time every day. Also try to make sure that you complete these tasks in the same manner every day. This way your baby will learn the routine and she will know what to expect. This will help her calm down because there are no surprises and she will feel safe. Some babies are very delicate and need you to make her surrounding feel more calming.
Fussy Baby Maybe Overstimulated Baby
Bad days can happen to the best of us, this is true even for babies. On these blue days your baby may cry for no apparent reason. Even though you know your baby's socializing time sometimes it might be too much. Baby might be feeling overstimulated and fussy.Try keeping her surroundings as calm and quiet as possible on these days. She just might need some quiet time to calm herself. It may be that there is just so much going on around the baby that it is causing her to feel anxious.
Find Ideal Position for Baby
At times babies are known to take in air while feeding and this air then has to find its way out in form of gas. Sometimes it helps if you position the baby so that her head is resting on your elbow and her body along your forearm, while her legs hang. The warmth of your arm will calm the gases and the pressure in the stomach.
Find the Right Teether/Pacifier
For some babies first teeth start out pretty early and are known to be irritating sometimes even painful for babies. Good idea is try out as many different types of teethers to find the one that best suits your baby. Every baby will have her own preference. While some will like sucking on their "blankie" others will enjoy teethers with a cooling effect.
Adapt Quickly to Babies Rapidly Changing Needs
Within the first year baby has rapid growth spurts. These come in phases usually around first three weeks, seventh week, third month, sixth month and ninth month. These growth spurts may cause change in baby’s regular routine and behavior. Be prepared to make adjustments to keep your baby happy. She may need more milk or change in her nap time schedule. This kind of thing is expected and it is okay. Try to understand your baby’s cries and with the good old trial and error you will come across the right thing that your baby needs. Also the growth spurts happen rather quickly, so make sure to keep up with updating her dresser so that she is always comfortable.
White Noise is Soothing for Babies
Considering most babies don’t fall asleep on their own every parent is faced with the task of finding the right way to put their little one to sleep. While for some babies a favorite toy or "blankie" will do the trick, for others thumb sucking or mellow music playing will be a success. But many parents make the mistake of not trying the good old white noise. Try turning on your hair dryer or vacuum. Also radio static is another good one. Put your imagination to work and test out what works for your baby. White noise is known to be soothing for a nervous and/or sleepy baby. It will work for bedtime and even for a painful tummy.
Infant Gas Release Exercise
There are times when baby cries inconsolably without apparent reason. This kind of behavior usually calls for lots of patience and trial and error comforting method. It may be that your baby's bowels need time to develop and this may cause your baby discomfort. During these bowl development times it's hard for them to pass gas. One of the tricks that worked for my son is very soothing calming voice and bicycle exercise. Place your baby on her back and very gently stimulate her to move her legs. Try slowly to show your baby how to pull her knee up towards her belly while stretching the other leg and then the other way around. This exercise should be done very tenderly leaving the baby in control and your hands should be just a guide for movements stimulating slow motion bicycle ride.
What are some some tricks you have used to soothe your crying baby? Sharing is caring! Sharing and caring is what we mommies represent. We live to share and care for our little ones.