It’s normal for babies to fuss and cry. After all, they don’t have any other way to communicate their discomfort or frustration. Not all babies are created equal when it comes to crying, and some fuss much more than others. If you’re the parent of one or more crying babies, here are 8 tricks you can try.
1. Record and Play-Back
Many babies are fascinated by the sound of themselves crying. You can capitalize on this by recording your baby crying for a few seconds, then playing the recording back to him or her. Your baby will probably quiet down and listen to the recording with great interest. Repeat this process until your baby remains calm or until the trick no longer works.
2. Bounce and Sooth
Babies love to be bounced and soothed. You can try putting your baby in a chair that gently bounces or rocks back and forth while making “shush” noises. Some moms also like to strap their babies directly to their bodies with special wraps or slings, then bounce and make soothing noises while going about their daily business. Some studies show that rocking or carrying a baby close to the body can trigger a calming response in the infant’s body. Repetitive “shooshing” sounds can distract your baby from crying and give him or her something else to focus on.
3. Recreate the Noise of the Womb
Many moms find great success in calming their babies by playing white noise. It’s thought that background white noise mimics the sound of the womb and can give the baby comfort. You can purchase white noise machines at practically any baby store, or you could also try turning on a fan or vacuum cleaner in the background. Just keep in mind that your baby’s hearing can be damaged by loud noises, so keep the volume down to a simple background distraction.
4. Turn on Music
Music can slow the baby’s heart rate and calm the nervous system, which makes it a great option when your little one won’t stop crying. Lullabies and classical selections are particularly calming, but your baby may respond well to your favorite tunes as well. Do some experimentation to find out what type of music your baby enjoys listening to the most. Some infants are especially responsive to Mom’s own voice, so don’t hesitate to quietly sing to your little one when he or she is particularly fussy.
5. Become a Master of Distraction
Sometimes babies get stuck in the rut of crying and can’t seem to stop themselves. When this happens, a little bit of distraction can go a long way. There are many ways to distract an infant. Here are a few suggestions:
- Make funny faces and noises
- Interact playfully with your baby
- Use baby-friendly objects and toys for distraction
- Give Baby a bath
These are all great ways to stop your infant from crying and save your own sanity in the process.
6. Go for a Drive
Some babies are soothed by car rides in the car seat. Many babies get sleepy on long drives, so if your infant is crying due to lack of sleep, going for a long drive may be the perfect way to encourage a good snooze. Avoid going for drives up in the canyon or over hills that can cause pressure in your baby’s ears and prevent sleep. Instead, look for flat or gently sloping routes that will calm and lull your baby to sleep.
7. Take a Break
Sometimes fussy babies just need a regular change of scenery to calm down. If you’re too stressed to effectively calm your child, try handing him or her off to a spouse or relative while you cool down, take a nap or engage in a calming activity. You’ll be better prepared to soothe your child properly if you take a break when you need it. 8
Remember to turn off the lights. Your baby recently came out of your womb, where it was dark, warm and comforting. Too much light can be overwhelming for your child’s senses and can cause fussiness. Try turning off the lights or dimming them a bit and see if your child responds positively to the comforting change. You can also black out natural light by closing the blinds or installing blackout curtains.