Ways to Soothe and Comfort Your Baby
When your baby needs comforting, what should you do? With patience and practice, you’ll learn which soothing techniques work best for your baby.
All babies cry because it’s the only way to let us know when they need something. It’s important to respond to your baby’s cries as soon as possible during the first few months of life. This kind of attention does not spoil your baby, but teaches him to trust that his needs will be met.
Most babies seem to be fussy about the same time each day. During this time, nothing seems to calm your baby. The sound of a baby crying can be very upsetting, especially when it goes on for a long time. If you feel overwhelmed, take a break by having someone watch your baby for a few minutes. Most importantly, NEVER SHAKE YOUR BABY! Remind yourself: it does get better.
Here are some common soothing actions:
- Change your baby’s diaper, if needed.
- Feed your baby if you think he might be hungry.
- Offer your baby something to suck (pacifier, thumb or fingers).
- Burp your baby once more.
- Determine if your baby is sick. Check his temperature.
- Swaddle (wrap) baby in a soft diaper or blanket, making sure his nose and mouth are not blocked.
- Take your baby for a ride in his car seat.
- Rock your baby in your arms, a cradle, a baby swing or rocking chair.
- Walk with your baby upright with his head on your shoulder.
- Give the baby a warm bath.
- Gently massage your baby’s arms and legs.
- Sing, hum or play quiet music.
- Turn on a fan or something else that makes a continuous sound.
- Put your baby on your lap, tummy down, and rub his back.
- Cuddle your baby close to your chest and breathe slowly (calmness is catching).
- Try darkening the room, turning down noise, putting your baby down or not touching him as much.
- Let someone else try to calm your baby or put your baby in his crib for a few minutes.
- Call the baby’s pediatrician for help.