In your baby’s first few months, your baby will cry to let you know they need something; it’s their way of communicating with you. If you’re a new mum, this may be upsetting because you don’t know what your baby needs or how to stop them from crying.
The most common reasons your baby is crying are:
- Their nappy needs to be changed
- Needing comfort
- They are too hot or cold
Overstimulation or boredom
Here are a few tips for soothing your baby if you have tried to resolve all of the above solutions:
Swaddling recreates the snug feeling of being inside the womb, and when your baby needs comfort, it’s the perfect solution as it decreases startling and increases sleep. Babies stay soothed for longer when swaddled because they can’t wriggle around. Make sure you are swaddling your baby correctly by using a large square blanket and wrapping their arms snugly and straight to their side, but make sure their hips are loose and can flex. Make sure your baby doesn’t overheat and doesn’t cover their head when you swaddle them. The swaddle is best used when your little one is fussy and sleeping.
Side or stomach position
Putting your baby on their back is the only safe way for your baby to sleep, but it can be hard to calm and soothe them this way. When you hold your baby on their side, on the stomach or over your shoulder, you’ll find that they become far less fussy and fall asleep, allowing you to gently place them in their cot so they can sleep safely.
Babies don’t need silence to fall asleep. When babies are in the womb, they are soothed by the sound of your blood flow, which is louder than a vacuum cleaner! Not all white noise provides the same soothing quality; a rumbly sound is best for your baby to fall asleep to.
Rocking your baby
Your baby has been jiggled about a lot whilst in the womb, so to soothe your baby, creating similar movements can be very calming. Slow rocking will keep your baby calm, but if they are crying, faster, tiny motions no more than a couple of centimetres back and forth will help to calm them. Remember to support their head and neck and keep your movements small.
When babies are fussy, giving them a pacifier to suck can help them relax and calm much more quickly, but be sure to offer it to your baby between feeds when you are confident they aren’t hungry.
Ensure the room you will massage your baby in is warm enough, then undress your baby. Use gentle motions whilst talking calmly and soothingly to your baby. Until your baby is a month old, don’t use any lotions or oils on your baby’s skin, as it is too delicate. Look out for health classes in your local area if you would like to learn more before providing your baby with a massage as a calming technique.