The Best Parenting Tips for Soothing A Crying BabyAll babies cry. Some cry for hours on end, while others are less easily rattled. Research shows that the average baby can cry and fuss for as long ...
All babies cry. Some cry for hours on end, while others are less easily rattled. Research shows that the average baby can cry and fuss for as long as three hours every day, making parent life tough work! No matter how much your baby cries, listening to the seemingly endless shrieks, whines, and wails can be exhausting!
Is your baby having a tough day? Here are some easy parenting hacks for soothing an unhappy little one!
Basic Baby Wearing
Babywearing has countless benefits for mother and baby, but research has also shown that it can even reduce the amount of time that babies cry! Wearing a baby provides the physical closeness babies crave in order to feel loved, safe, and secure. There is nowhere a baby would rather be than in a caregiver’s arms!
Check our article about Baby Wearing Benefits.
One particular form of babywearing called kangaroo care, originally used as a way to free up incubators for needy babies in impoverished countries, is gaining popularity in many hospitals around the world. Kangaroo care consists of placing a baby, naked except for a diaper, on a caregiver’s bare chest. This type of skin-to-skin contact mimics the way kangaroos carry their newborn babies. It has been proven to be especially helpful for babies born prematurely.
Babywearing using a sling, wrap, or structured carrier is an extension of the newborn kangaroo care, and the physiological benefits of wearing a baby extend well into their first years of life. Babywearing enables a baby to feel the body heat of a caregiver and helps them regulate their own body temperature, allows them to feel secure enough to explore the world while snugly resting against a parent, and facilitates a baby’s sense of attachment through close contact with a caregiver. Babywearing and skin-to-skin contact has also been shown to regulate a baby’s heart rate and respiratory rate. Because of these many benefits, babies who are worn in carriers actually cry less than babies who are not worn!
The “Shush” Song
Babies love the “shush” sound! Your baby develops a good sense of hearing inside the womb, which means he or she is used to a lot of noise! While it is tempting to tiptoe around a new baby and keep the environment as silent as possible, cranking up the noise is often the solution! Some researchers speculate that the sound babies hear inside the womb (blood flowing through your arteries, the different sounds of your food digesting, the muffled sound of outside voices) can be even louder than a vacuum cleaner!
If your baby is having a hard time falling asleep, try rocking him and gently whispering “sssshh” into his ear until he calms down.
Pitch-black Mom Hack
Too much light can easily overwhelm babies. Some babies can become overstimulated by the brightness of their environment. Newborns do not have fully developed vision, but they are sensitive to bright light. Not to mention, many toys marketed for older babies often make noise and have flashing lights. The excess stimulation by too much light can make a baby fussier than usual.
Try taking the baby into a dark room for a few minutes. If you want to set up a really calm, soothing environment for your baby, invest in a set of blackout curtains for the nursery or bedroom. Taking the baby into a very dark room can have a great calming effect!
Dance It Out
For crying babies, music provides not only a great distraction but also has the ability to calm the nervous system. Listening and dancing to music has been shown to reduce stress by lowering the heart rate and respiratory rate.
Because of their experience in the womb, babies are used to noise and movement. They spend nine long months being jostled around inside the uterus. This is why babies love to be rocked, bounced, and swayed from side to side.
Dancing is a wonderful way to calm a fussy baby. It distracts them from whatever is bothering them, allows them to be close to a caregiver, and has been physiologically proven to reduce stress. It’s also a great way for busy parents to get some extra exercise!
All babies are different, and what calms one baby might rattle another. Some babies are soothed by long car rides, others prefer the sound of a noisy washing machine, while others need a dark, silent nursery in order to feel calm. It’s all a matter of trial-and-error to figure out what your individual baby enjoys!
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Sara Gale
Sara loves traveling and exploring new places with her family. She is mom to 2 lovely children and loves bringing them out on adventures.