The bottle, nap, and diaper change have yielded nothing and you’ve still got a crying baby on your hands. Welcome to the dark side of those cute people we call babies. It’s not all fun and coos and there’s a whole lot of squalling, screaming, and general expressions of unhappiness. Babies cry for a variety of reasons- they’re sick, they’re tired, they’re hungry- and sometimes they cry for apparently no reason at all. If you’ve tried all the standard approaches to calm your crying baby and nothing has worked, it’s time to try a novel approach. Many of these tips will even help with babies who are crying for a clear reason. A sick baby can still be calmed, and an overtired baby who’s screaming her lungs out can still be lulled into blissful quiet. Try some of the tips below and you’ll be on your way to at least a few moments cry-free.
Get Up and Get Moving
Babies, just like children and adults, get bored. If you’ve been trying to rock your baby for hours to no avail, it’s time to try a different approach. For whatever reason, babies seem to cry less when walking around, so get up, walk around the room, point out pictures, and talk to her.
Swaddling is a true miracle for many parents and can work wonders to calm a crying infant. Swaddling your baby is supposed to mimic the feeling of being in the womb, but can also help a sleepy baby calm down enough to finally get to sleep. Make sure you don’t trap any skin and that her arms are by her sides. Rock and sing to her and you may quickly lull her into a peaceful sleep.
Get In The Car
Some particularly fussy babies find the car so soothing that it’s the only place they’re able to fall asleep. The soothing motions and soft noises are often calming for babies, so consider taking him for a drive around the block.
Give Her a Bath
My mother has always said, “If a baby is crabby, put her in water.” While some babies hate baths, for others the warm water, a chance to play, and a novel setting is the ticket to happiness.
Sing to Her
Many babies cry because they’re bored, lonely, or afraid, and a soothing voice can help to drown out the crushing weight of the world. Sing in soft tones and rock her while you sing.
Take Her On a Tour
Walk your baby around the house. Point to things, talk to her about them, and use her name as frequently as possible. This approach can take several minutes but often works wonders for a baby who is bored, overstimulated, or lonely.
Put Her In a Swing
Babies love the soft, rocking motions of infant swings, and these are often the best tool you can use to get your baby to stop crying and go to sleep. Stay near her while she is in the swing and sing to her, talk to her, or make physical contact.
We typically hold babies in our arms like footballs. However, some babies crave closer contact. Resting her on your chest or directly against your skin can have an incredibly soothing effect.
Talk To Her
Babies don’t talk, and so adults often forget to talk to them. But your baby is listening, and developing her vocabulary long before she begins to speak. Talk to her. Tell her about your day, about herself, and use her name frequently. The sound of a trusted caregiver’s soothing voice is incredibly calming to many crying, screaming babies.
Put Her In a Sling
If you’re trying to get work done but your baby has other plans, compromise and put her in a sling. She’ll love the close contact to you and will also have a better view of what’s going on around her. Your hands will be free to do other things while paying attention to her. It’s the perfect trade off!