Today I am excited to have Chelsea from Mommy’s Nook here sharing some ideas on how to comfort a crying baby. It has been a few years now since I had a newborn but I know a lot of my readers will find these tips useful. Chelsea is a mother of two beautiful children, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Information Technology. She is also an experienced couponer of over 4 years. Chelsea shares about her life experiences and advice on computers and couponing on her blog Mommy’s Nook.
Ways to Comfort a Crying Baby
When I first became a mom I remember a night when my little newborn was crying. Not a simple “I’m awake change me/feed me” cry, but one I didn’t recognize. a non-stop colic cry!! It took me many sleep-less nights, back then, to get my poor baby to stop crying and sleep peacefully and I’ve since encountered many “new” moms who have encountered the same problem. So I’m going to share with you my list of tricks for comforting your crying baby, and hopefully these things will work for you!!
Check the Obvious
- The first thing I recommend is doing the obvious: check the diaper. I know that this may seem like a no-brainer for some, but honestly I can’t tell you how many times my child has been crying and I can’t calm him down and i finally notice that he needs a diaper change. Besides, even if you just changed him, odds are, he may have peed again. ( My 1st seriously had to have her diaper changed every 15-30 minutes like clock work at 3 months old!! If this becomes the case I recommend going to 12-hour diapers. It will help you not having to change the diaper so often and they will still tell you when they need to be changed and the 12-hour diapers help with diaper rashes when you’re changing them under that time frame.)
- See if he’s hungry. I know this is another “obvious” one, but honestly when I had my son, he ate constantly for like the whole second week of his life. And he cried a lot just because he wanted to eat. If your baby isn’t hungry, they will not eat. Instead they’ll scream louder at you (and yes louder is possible!!)
- Hold/Swaddle your baby. Sometimes, your infant just needs to be held and snuggled by mommy or daddy. There’s something soothing about your presence and being (or feeling) like they’re in your arms, creates a feeling of security and comfort, which clams them down and the crying stops. You can always walk, bounce, or rock your baby to help soothe them if they keep crying or whimpering.
Is It Colic or Gas?
Feel/listen to the tummy for gas, down right above the legs. You may have to move your ear around, but you will definitely hear a low rumbling, gurgling sound when you find the gas bubble. If you can’t hear it, take your hand and gently grab your baby just above the legs and rub their tummy with your thumbs. If they start screaming louder, they have gas. And here’s some solutions for that:
- Gripe water or Mylicon (both of these are all-natural and can be given multiple times in a single day/hour if needed, oh and gripe water cures hiccups!!)
- Tummy time (This may increase the screaming, but often changing the position of your child will help them pass gas or poop and the tummy is usually the fastest)
- Bicycle Leg Pumps (make sure your child’s head is supported when you do this. You can also hold their legs in the cannon-ball pose when they start pushing to help the gas move along faster.)
- Putting them in an elevated position on their backs can help move the gas along to a more comfortable position
- Use the Windi (I haven’t personally tried this, but I do know a few moms who swear by it!!) You can also try a suppository to help the stool move the gas out.
Colic (the constant, inconsolable crying of a distressed baby for more then three hours) is a horrible thing to experience as a parent. Some babies have colic worse then other and some, of the lucky few, do not experience colic at all. These are some things you can do to help with Colic:
- Gripe Water can help with colic for some babies, but sometimes it doesn’t work. Remember, that it is a natural product, so you can give it to your child without feeling guilty about giving them “medicine” (It’s really not medicine)
- Lavender oils or scents have a soothing effect on most people and can help with colic crying babies. If you use oils, be sure to put it on the bottom of your baby’s feet since they will absorb the oil better.
- Swaddling your baby can help with colic as well, but take heed that it often works better if you combine it with something else; like a change in position, scenery, bouncing/walking, etc.
- Changing the baby’s position and/or room can help as well since it gives your child a different point of view and perspective. It also helps to go into a quiet room to make sure that nothing going on is upsetting your child that you might not be aware of.
- Singing a song or the sound of your voice can help calm your crying baby. Many parents find that the songs they sang while their baby was still in the womb often comfort and calm the child almost instantly. If you didn’t sing or talk to your baby you can always play the music you listened to while you were expecting. My daughter will always calm down for the Star Trek theme song when she’s upset. (If you’re uncomfortable with that, our nurses in the hospital told use to say, “Shh-sh-shhh-shh” in our crying baby’s ear when we rock them because it reminds them of the sounds they would hear in the womb.)
Other Solutions for Crying Babies
- If the first options don’t work, hold your crying baby (you can swaddle them too if that helps some) and take them to the bathroom and let the water run. You can try a sound machine with a water/noise setting, but honestly I find that going to the bathroom and turning on the water (I do the cold water on a low flow) just works better for my kids. Also, I never use the kitchen or just any random sink because something about the echo in the bathroom helps relax them.
- Warm Bath. When all-else fails, my crying babies calm right down with a nice warm bath. It helps with growing pains, gas, colic, etc. Sometimes, though, they scream as soon as I take them out of the bath. When this happens, I leave them in for a while longer and if that doesn’t work I go to my secret weapon.
- Baby Lotion Massage with Lavender scent/oils. I always give my children a massage when they get out of a bath, but especially when they’ve been crying for a long time and I am unable to comfort or calm them. When this happens, I’ll bring out my special lotion, with the calming effects of Lavender oils in it, and give them a gentle massage. I gently rub the lotion on their skin with my thumbs and fingers pressing firmly yet gently. This almost always calms them down because I can rub gas out, find growing pains that need attention, and give them their love language of touch.
- Inclined seating. I will usually swaddle my crying baby and place him in our napper, and rock him back and forth. This helps if your baby has acid reflux or heart burn that you may not be aware of.
Crying Baby Still Crying
If, after everything you’ve just done, your baby is still crying, I recommend consulting with your baby’s pediatrician. Make a diary of every time your baby cries, how long your baby cries for, your baby’s eating and sleeping schedule, changes etc. to take with you to your pediatrician. If you’re breastfeeding, I would definitely keep a food journal. This will help you know if anything you’re eating on a day-to-day basis is causing a hidden problem with your crying baby that you and your doctor may not be aware of. Also, if you formal feed, check with your pediatrician about the formula you’re using. Sometimes babies need a gentler formula for their sensitive stomachs.
I hope you can find refuge from your crying baby with these tips!! Best of Luck!!