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How to Soothe a Crying Baby

Comforting Contact

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:

  • Swaddling
  • 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
  • Swinging
  • 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.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on May 26, 2014

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