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Health and Fitness News

Cranky, Colicky, Crying Babies

Calm a crying baby with these tried and true techniques.

Why is the baby crying? It’s a question that has been asked since the dawn of time. If babies could talk to tell you why they’re upset, parenting would be so much easier. As it is, it’s a constant guessing game to figure out why baby is crying and how to soothe him. You know that most babies cry because they’re hungry, need a diaper change, are tired, or are in pain. But colicky babies seem to cry for no apparent reason.
Can’t seem to calm a crying baby? After you’ve made sure your little one isn’t hungry, have a dirty diaper, or in some sort of pain, consider these nine ways to make baby coo again.

#1: Suck

Babies come with the desire to suck and find comfort and security from sucking. When they’ve fed from a bottle or the breast and are still fussy, try giving her a pacifier or help her find a thumb or fingers to suck on. Pacifiers have been shown to help reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), though they may increase the risk of ear infections. Wait until breastfeeding is well established to offer a pacifier, and take the pacifier away by age 2 before it interferes with tooth development.

#2: Swaddle

In the small space of the womb, a baby feels cozy and secure. For this reason, many babies find comfort when swaddled. Help your baby relax and sleep longer by wrapping him securely in a blanket like a burrito. Some babies may prefer to be swaddled with their arms free.

#3: Rock

Baby won’t stop crying? Try holding her in a rocking chair or glider or placing the baby in a baby swing or rocking cradle. Babies love the soothing and hypnotizing movement of rocking back and forth. Instead of letting a baby get used to falling asleep while rocking, use the gentle movement to calm her before placing her in his crib.

#4: Sing

Babies love the sound of your voice and can be soothed by a caregiver’s singing. Baby can’t make fun of your off-key pitch, so have a song repertoire ready to sing on repeat. This could be nursery rhymes, country songs, or favorite hymns.

#5: Go Outside

Even babies get cabin fever. A change of scenery and some fresh air may be just what a baby (and mom or dad) needs to relax. Go for a walk, sit on the porch, or take a ride in the car.

#6: White Noise

While in the womb, a baby gets used to the gentle whooshing sounds. This may be why many infants are soothed by white noise. Just repeating “shhhhhh” over and over may do the trick. Otherwise, turn on a sound machine or fan. White noise can also prevent other noises from startling or waking a baby.

#7: Baths

After a long day, a warm bath helps relax you, so why wouldn’t the same work for your baby? Use chamomile or lavender soap for an extra measure of relaxation. Some babies, on the other hand, are stimulated by bath time, so act accordingly.

#8: Quietness

Instead of trying to rock, sing, or bathe a fussy baby, you may just want to lie him down alone in a quiet, dark room. Baby’s brains are still developing, and after a busy day with lots of sounds and sights, he may become over-stimulated to the point that he can’t calm down. Being alone may be what he needs to self-soothe.

#9: Colic Carry

While it’s not considered safe for baby to sleep on her bellies, pressure on her tummy may help relieve colic, crying, and gas pains. To safely provide this pressure, lay your baby face down on your forearm and cradle her head in your palm. Or lay her facedown across your lap with her head supported on your thigh. Use your free hand to gently massage her back.