How to Stop a Baby Crying
Knowing different ways how to stop a baby crying can mean the difference between sleepless nights and poor performance at work to being one of those few lucky parents that everyone’s jealous of who barely look like they’ve missed a single hour’s sleep. The following suggestions are a checklist of things to try to soothe your baby.
1- Check the basics: Sleepiness or fatigue, dirty nappy/diaper, hunger, too much noise or activity, colic, acid reflux, or food allergies, pain or illness, gas, anxiety due to strangers or fear. Removing the problem, if there is one, should calm your baby.
2- Attempt to read the external situation. Does your baby start crying regularly at certain times or in certain situations? Different types of cry? Changes in mood? Think a little outside the box and put yourself in your baby’s shoes. A little thought rather than panic and fussing may help you remove the previously unrecognisable problem.
3- Use Harvey Carp’s Five S’s. If you kind find the root of the problem, try these 5 measures: Swaddling- Wrap your baby in a blanket so he feels secure, side or stomach position- Hold your baby so he’s lying on his side or stomach, but always put him on his back when he goes to sleep, shushing- create “white noise” that drowns out other noises: run the vacuum cleaner for example, swinging- create a rhythmic motion of any kind, sucking- let the baby suck on something like a dummy/pacifier.
4- Remember that your baby has feelings. Baby’s will become frustrated if you don’t respond to the emotional signals that they are sending out. Babies are emotional beings and experience feelings of happiness, sadness, joy, and anger from the very first moment of life. Be responsive. Thinking of your baby as an individual with a unique personality may make it easier to interpret and respond to his or her cries.
5- Watch for attachment milestones. If your baby is not meeting the ‘attachment milestones’, perhaps there may be an underlying problem that might require professional attention: 1- Attention and regulation (birth-3 months)- Attention and regulation go hand in hand, because a baby who can’t calm down (and regulate his or her nervous system) won’t be able to pay attention and interact with you. 2- Shared joy (3-6 months)- Sharing joy with your baby establishes a connection between sensory experiences (things your baby sees, hears, and feels) and safe and loving interaction with another person. 3- Give and take communication (4-10 months)- With the third milestone, your baby’s level of engagement with you becomes more sophisticated. 4- Gestures and problem solving (10-18 months)- Your baby’s new motor skills (scooting, crawling, pointing, and maybe walking) should lead to better communication and connection with you.
6- Recognize and understand colic. Colic is a term used for crying more than three hours a day for more than three days a week. A baby with colic will often cry inconsolably despite all attempts to comfort and soothe. The cause of colic, which affects one in five babies, is not clear; perhaps development of the infant’s intestinal system, related to acid reflux (GERD), or to food allergies. There isn’t much you can do about colic, but just appreciating that your baby is experiencing it should help you stay positive. It will go away and things will get better.
7- Seek help. If things are really bad and you’re truly struggling for a prolonged period of time. It’s better to seek help than to allow the crying to negatively affect your relationship with the baby.
Pay attention to your own body when it’s telling you that you’re overwhelmed. The sooner you spot your personal limits, the easier it is to plan ahead to ask for a break and for extra help. Manage your own state before you try to manage your baby’s. A baby will pick up on your mood and reflect it.
For most babies, crying peaks at six weeks and then gradually eases off. The crying won’t last forever, it’s just a hard period that you need to persevere with. Stay positive and be patient.
Say yes when people offer to help with housework, meals or babysitting and make friends with other parents in order to find some common ground and a person to vent with.
Pay attention to your wife/partner/girlfriend for signs of depression, worthlessness, resentfulness or indifference towards your baby. Baby blues or postpartum depression is quite common. The baby’s mum might be finding it difficult to cope and this will reflect in her relationship with the baby.