On the list of the top unsolved mysteries of the humanity, this question positions super high. But why’ Shouldn’t it have been answered a long time ago, considering just how many babies there have been in the world since the beginning of time?
It hasn’t been, due to something we already know – each baby is special, has different needs and ways to calm down. That’s what makes us want to have them in a way, right? We bring that little nugget home from the hospital and we feed her, bathe her, keep her safe – and wonder what she’ll turn into, what her unique qualities are!
Soon after, we discover that this beautiful baby has a unique smile, eye color, and yes – unique way to calm down. I can’t tell you how to calm your baby 100% of the cases – it’s your baby and I obviously don’t know her as well as you.
What I can do is give you a list of proven, effective ways to stop a baby from crying that isn’t specific to her age. Feel free to treat it as a checklist – if one of them isn’t the issue, move on to the next. However – this isn’t a full list of all the possible reasons; if nothing works and you feel like there’s something more going on, it may be time to contact your pediatrician. (That’s where my little disclaimer kicks in: I’m definitely not a medical professional, but rather a blogger mommy; don’t treat this as a medical advice!)
- Feed your LO
Sometimes, it’s as simple as this. The younger the baby is, the more chance there is she’s actually hungry even if the last meal has been recent. Offer breastfeeding, bottle or solids, depending on your baby’s stage.
- Give your LO water
Your baby may be thirsty. If you have the pediatrician’s okay and your baby is old enough to introduce water, offer some.
- You’ve got a boy? Check your baby’s testicles for inflammation
This is the one I’m positioning very highly because it happened to us when our baby was 4 months old: we, as new parents, didn’t know this is super often for boys. Make sure to check if there is any redness or inflammation inside the diaper if your boy doesn’t seem to be calming down.
- Diaper change
One of the easiest fixes in the book – your LO may just be telling you the diaper needs a change!
- Nap time
Your baby may be tired. Try to put her to sleep. When you notice some sleep cues, make sure to address them right away to avoid the baby being overtired!
- Remove/add layers of clothes
The baby may be too hot or too cold. Try adding or removing a layer of clothes.
- Pick up your baby
Sometimes, babies need extra cuddles and attention. Pick your baby up, talk to her, rock her, sing to her – anything you both enjoy doing, now’s the time!
- Take your baby for a walk
Stroller walks are a proven trick in the book – maybe your LO just needs some fresh air and a change of environment!
- Play music
Music is a great distraction. If you think your baby may just be moody, pleasant music is bound to help!
- Play with toys
Your baby may be bored. Try to sit on the floor with her and play with some of the toys she really likes!
- Give the baby a bath
There are many benefits of giving the baby a bath – it’s fun, distracting, helps with passing gas (and time until your partner can take over) – and it keeps your baby clean!
- Use white noise
White noise is super beneficial – it reminds babies of the sounds they know from the womb. Play a sound of fan or a vacuum cleaner – more often than not, your baby will calm down.
- Rock your baby
There are many different rocking techniques depending on the baby’s mood – just do what makes you and your baby feel most comfortable, regardless of whether it’s fast or slow!
- Pat the baby on the back gently
This helps a lot with passing the gas!
- Give the baby a pacifier
If your baby takes a pacifier, offer one. Sucking is incredibly soothing for babies – early on, it’s even considered a need!
- Burp the baby
This should be done after feedings anyway, but there may be some trapped gas bothering the baby.
- Check for hair wrapped around baby’s fingers and toes
This is often overlooked, but super common – your hair may be tied around baby’s fingers, causing incredible discomfort. Carefully check all the fingers and toes, as well as neck and other places where hair can get stuck!
- Try skin to skin contact
This is very soothing, especially to young babies (and parents). It makes a baby feel safe and cared for!
- Call your mom
There may be something you’re missing – sometimes moms know more than we give them credit for. Call her and ask for advice!
- Use TV as a distraction
Not everyone is a fan of this, but it often works.
- Baby massage
Your baby may be colicky – gently massaging your baby’s tummy (there’s plenty of YouTube videos on how to do that) can help pass the gas!
It really helps with younger babies. I used to carry my son wrapped up in a blanket like a little burrito. He loved it!
- Sing to your baby
It doesn’t matter if you can sing or not. Your baby loves your voice!
- Read to your baby
Older babies will find this very soothing and distracting (younger ones may not appreciate it too much if they can’t hold the book themselves and look at it).
- Get rid of additional stimulation
Your LO may be overstimulated with light, noise, people or other distractions. Retreat to a quiet room, or remove the stimuli.
- Add some stimulation
The baby may just be – bored! Try adding some stimuli if you’ve been in a dark, quiet room for a while!
- Apply teething gel/give a baby a teether
If your baby’s teething, you probably know about it already – if so, apply any comfort that works for her!
- Take the baby on a car ride
This is almost guaranteed to calm down a crying baby – even put her to sleep! Drive around the block, maybe play some soothing music. See what happens!
- Lay your baby in a swing
If your baby likes being in a swing, it doesn’t hurt to try. Make sure you’re present at all times!
- Check for any signs of illness
Your little one may be at the beginning stages of a cold. Check for the usual signs of illness and stay on alert.
- Calm yourself
Babies can sense our mood – if we’re moody or panicky, chances are, they will be, too. Try to calm yourself first.
- Comfort nurse
If you’re breastfeeding, try offering a breast for a little while.
If nothing else seems to be helping, it may be time to call the doctor or go there directly. Here are some things you can do at home to try to determine whether your baby is sick (this is not a complete list – consult with your pediatrician in any case!):
- Take their temperature if you suspect fever
- Carefully pull the baby’s ear to test for ear inflammation
- Check for rashes on the whole body
- Check for nose discharge – there may be a snot stopping your baby from breathing
- Check to hear if the baby has difficulty breathing (if there’s a noise)
How do you help a crying baby? Let me know in the comments! Good luck!