by Danielle Schultz
Listening to your baby cry can be one of the most diffucult sounds to listen to in your lifetime. Especially when you have tried everything you can think of and still cannot quiet baby. Below you will find a few methods which often help to soothe a crying baby. Hopefully one or two of these (or some combination thereof) will work next time you find yourself wanting to cry along with your baby.
The rhythmic pat….pat baby’s back or bottom. A heart beat pattern or any other rhythmical pattern may be soothing.
The monotone hum….Hum the same monotone note over and over again. You might even find baby humming it with you.
The gentle stroke…Gently and repetitively stroke one of baby’s body parts. Experiment with both against the skin and above clothing on an arm, a leg, the neck, behind the ears, the bottoms of feet or the back.
The neck cradle…Cradle baby’s face between your cheek and shoulder. Adding a sway or rocking to this hold is a definite plus.
Skin contact…Lay baby without a shirt on against your bare skin inside a robe or under a blanket.
Laying together…Lay down with your baby on the couch, bed or floor. Try both belly to belly as well as “spoon” style with baby’s back to your belly.
Swaddling…Wrap baby swaddle style in a blanket. Experiment with arms inside and outside the blanket.
White noise…Some babies are comforted by external monotonous noise such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines, dishwashers. If this works for you, try making a tape of the sound to cut down on your power bill.
The sound of water…Open the washing machine and run the water or run the tub or shower. Some infants are comforted by the sound of rushing water. Again, if this works for you, try making a tape of the sound to cut down on your water bill.
A soothing bath…A child can never be too clean or too happy. A warm bath might just be what it takes to help calm your child.
An infant sling…Slings are a commodity not used frequently enough by parents. They allow your child to be comforted and close to you while you go about some of your daily tasks. Other front pack carriers are successful choices for some children and parents.
Please keep in mind, if you feel yourself feeling tense or angry, allow your child to cry in a safe place while you regain composure. NEVER, EVER shake a baby, serious injury can result.
Interesting fact to help you remember you are not alone: at six weeks the average baby cries from 2 to 3.25 hours a day. (source unknown)