Babies 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 or her 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
- Side or stomach carrying
- Let Baby Suckle
- Let Baby Swing
- Shh, shh him
- Stay calm – oops a sixth tip!
New babies may feel much more secure if swaddled. Put him into a cotton blanket from neck and down. This will restrain his flying 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 not quite sure how to swaddle a baby, check the instructive video below.
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
Let Baby Swing
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 your baby is crying very loudly, it might be hard to use this tip, though. In such a case, first, try another method, and then, when the baby starts to become calmer, start shushing.
You can also put on white noise “music”; something that works really well for some babies.
Stay calm – oops a sixth tip!
If someone would hold you in their 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.
For questions and comments, please share yours below! :-)
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing are based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians who assist in reviewing and writing articles.