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Soothing Your Crying Baby

Your Crying Baby: Meet Her Basic Needs continued...

Play music.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 or bottoms.

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 your baby).

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!"


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