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How To Soothe A Baby – The 5 S’s (Actually 6) To Help Baby Stop Crying

Soothe a babyBabies cry and you are likely to spend quite some time trying to soothe your baby especially in the beginning. The younger the baby, the harder it is to know why he is crying.

Why is this?

Well, you don’t really know each other yet!

It may take a month or two before you know your baby enough to be able to interpret his cries correctly. (And even then you’ll be clueless from time to time.)

The time spent crying every day tends to peak when the baby is around six weeks. At this point in time it is normal to have a baby crying for around 2 hours a day in total.

If your baby is crying much more than this or if he is very hard to console, he might have colic. If you suspect colic, talk to a pediatrician.

If you think you know why our baby is crying, begin with fixing his problem – like if he is hungry, has dirty diapers or is tired.

But especially in the beginning, there will be many times when you simply won’t be sure why your baby is crying.

Still, there are tricks to soothe a baby. Try the five S’s!

How To Soothe A Baby (The Five S’s)


Swaddle Baby

New babies may feel much more secure if swaddled. Put him into a cotton blanket from neck and down. This will restrain his flaying limbs, which really can disturb an infant. Don’t swaddle too tightly, only to help the baby be still.

At around six weeks, you may want to release one arm, so that he can find his mouth with his hand. This way he can start self-soothing by suckling.

If you are noy quite sure how to swaddle a baby, check the instructive video below.

For more details on swaddling a baby, read this article.

Side or Stomach Carrying

A typical job for dad!

Many babies get a lot calmer if carried belly down. It probably helps if the baby has stomach pain and may help him release gas.

For my kids, this has been a great way to soothe them when they were younger than three months.

Let Baby Suckle

As you will notice, breastfeeding is a great way to soothe a baby. You can also let him suckle a pacifier or your clean finger (with a very short finger nail).

Let Baby Swing

Swinging your baby, either in your arms, in a stroller, cradle, baby bouncer or car seat is very efficient. Try swinging your baby in your arms belly down.

If nothing else works and you are desperate a car ride seems to be exactly the right swing to soothe a baby.


Shh, shh him

Some say that the shh, shh sound resembles what the baby heard all day long in the womb. This might be why shushing is so efficient.

If you’re baby is crying very loudly, it might be hard to use this tip though. In such case first try another method and then, when the baby starts to become calmer, start shushing.
You can also buy a white noise CD; something that works really well for some babies.

Stay calm – oops a sixth tip!

If someone would hold you in his arms, pat you and say:

“Oh, my God, why are you crying? I’m so worried that something is wrong with you. Why are you crying?”

Would that make you feel a lot calmer? No? Don’t send such a message to your baby. Stay calm, think that everything will be just fine real soon and try sending that message to your baby.

Talk to him while holding him. Say things like:

“Everything will be just fine. I will help you, I’m here for you.”

It is not because your baby understands what you are saying, but maybe how you’re saying it and how you are feeling.

Here you’ll find many questions and answers by other parents regarding crying babies and how to soothe them.