How to Soothe a Crying Baby
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Many crying babies are comforted by smooth, rhythmic movements, like being rocked in a rocking chair, hammock, or infant swing. Take your crying baby for a walk in a stroller or for a car ride -- just be sure she's safely strapped into her rear-facing car seat.
The amount of motion that is soothing varies from child to child. So you may need to try a few things to see what works best. Don’t place your child on top of a vibrating appliance, such as a dishwasher or dryer, because she could fall.
Some babies relax when they feel like they did in the womb. Wrap your baby snugly in a blanket, or gently pat her on the back in a pattern like a heartbeat. Lie down with her against your side, or keep her close to your body in an infant sling as you walk around. A warm bath may also help.
The 5 S's
Pediatrician Harvey Karp, MD, recommends using the 5 S's -- a combination of fuss-busting techniques -- to comfort a crying baby. This method may help create a safe, womb-like feeling.
The five S's include:
- Side/stomach soothing (laying your baby on her side/stomach): Use this when your baby’s colicky, but don’t leave her unwatched. And never put baby to sleep on her side -- always lay her on her back.
- "Shhhing" sounds
- Sucking (nursing your crying baby or give her a pacifier)
No matter which technique you try, remember that your baby is more likely to stop crying if you remain calm.