It’s the middle of the night; your newborn daughter has been up crying for several minutes. You’ve changed and fed her, yet shes still crying. So what are a few things you can do to help calm her?
1. Baby Massage
The same way that is going to get a massage at the spa is relaxing for you, so are they for babies. The smooth rhythmic motions of warm hands rubbing their back or belly is a great way to soothe your infant. Lay them against your chest, where they can hear and feel your heartbeat; this will help reassure your baby that everything is ok.
Baby massages help your baby do more than just calm down. It helps them regulate their sleep cycle and sleep more restfully.
Another small secret about baby massages, they help stimulate bowel movements. Bowel movements can be a bit scary for new babies who are unsure of what’s going on with their new bodies.
2. Rock the Baby
Babies spend the first nine months of their existence being moved around. So, it’s no surprise that swinging around rocked or bounced is calming.
Don’t be afraid to really swing and bounce your baby around; some babies prefer bigger movements.
3. Mimic Your Heartbeat
Remember how your heartbeat sounded over that doppler monitor at your first few ob-gyn appointments? That shushing sound was the first thing your baby heard and was a constant sound throughout your whole pregnancy. Making it a very comforting sound to your baby.
You are mimicking that noise, either by an app or by recordings, the sounds of the doppler noise from your appointment.
4. White Noise
The same way shushing calms your baby, so will white noise. You can purchase a white noise machine, or even download a white noise app.
Mimicking the safe environment of the womb helps your baby feel calm. Swaddling your baby into warm blankets copies the confined spaces they experienced during development, as well as the warmth and security.
Some babies prefer a tight swaddle, but be careful you don’t clothe to hard, as you don’t want to restrict airways.
Just like your baby hearing your heartbeat in the womb, they can also hear every word you spoke during your pregnancy. Singing or humming to your babies has a very calming, reassuring factor. It doesn’t matter what you sing or hum. But, choosing a song that is calming, slower, and melodic will help defuse the crying.
7. Rhythmic Patting
Very similar to baby massages, rhythmic patting is very calming to babies. The constant feeling of a repeating pattern reminds your baby of their time in the womb.
Don’t be afraid to pat too hard (but don’t smack or hit the baby); some babies enjoy being able to feel the pat through their whole body.
Lullabies and gentle music are great for calming babies. Music helps babies focus on the sound instead of crying.
Playing music around nap or bedtime can help train your baby to understand it’s time to start calming down. This is a small secret that, if started early in life, can transition to toddlers that have a hard time calming down.
9. Car Rides
Much like the rhythmic patting or baby massages, car rides are a great way to help calm a fussy baby. The constant vibrations of the vehicle help lull them into a sleepy trans.
Babies have a natural desire to suck, whether on a pacifier, breast, bottle, or their fingers. Sucking stimulates the release of calming hormones. Try offering your baby a breast; even if they aren’t hungry, it will help calm them, as well a build a stronger bond.
11. Crying It Out
The old wives’ tale of letting your baby self soothe, or cry it out, isn’t always the best advice. Babies, especially newborns, can’t calm themselves down. They need external help.
However, if your baby is crying to the point you get frustrated, it’s ok to set your baby in a safe place like a crib or bassinet. Calm yourself down, so seek out help and return to your infant when you can. If you are worked up or anxious, your baby will sense that, and progress will be slow.
Something babies just need to fuss. Crying and fussy are babies’ only ways to communicate, so if they’ve become over-stimulated, they may need a minute to release all that extra energy.
Try your hardest to create a calm, serene environment to help them.
If, for any reason, a combination of the above calming methods doesn’t work. You may want to contact your doctor, as your baby may have another unseen worry, like colic.
If you didn’t notice the pattern in all the suggested calming methods, its to mimic the womb, something your baby is used to. Being out in this big new world is very scary. But soon, they will know that you are there to assist them with everything they need.
Remember to breathe; everything will be ok.