Soothing Your Crying Baby
Your Crying Baby: Meet Her Basic Needs continued...
Soft, peaceful music is a wonderful baby calmer.
That's why lullabies have been passed down through the ages. You don't have to
be a professional singer to provide your baby with a song; your baby just loves
to hear your voice. In addition to your own songs, babies usually love to hear
any kind of music. Experiment with different types of tunes, since babies have
their own favorites that can range from jazz to country to classical, and even
rock and rap.
Massage your crying baby. Babies love to be touched and
stroked, so a massage is a wonderful way to calm a fussy baby. A variation of
massage is the baby pat; many babies love a gentle, rhythmic pat on their backs
Distract your crying baby. Sometimes a new activity or change
of scenery -- maybe a walk outside, or a dance with a song, or a splashy bath
-- can be very helpful in turning a fussy baby into a happy one.
Your Crying Baby: Start by Soothing Yourself
Jennifer Shu and Laura Jana, authors of Heading Home with Your
Newborn, suggest that along with soothing your infant, you need to
soothe yourself. "It helps to try and stay calm, because a stressed-out parent
can make the crying worse instead of better," they say.
"Give it time," they add. Some amount of crying is to be expected, and
it's okay to put your baby down for a few minutes so you don't get so
frustrated that you can't do much good (or worse, feel like hitting or shaking
Call a friend, relative, or neighbor to come over for support and/or take care
of the baby while you take a break, adds St. Luke's Sherry Iverson. If no one
is available to help and you need a break, put the baby in his crib. Make sure
he is safe, close the door, and check on him every 5 minutes until you have
regained your composure.
But when your crying baby won't quiet down no matter what you do, say Shu
and Jana, it warrants a call to your doctor to rule out the possibility of
anything serious. And if at any time you feel that you can't cope anymore, seek
professional help, regardless of the cause.
For the most part though, says Sherry Iverson, all you need to do is be
patient. "Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and count to ten!"