There’s nothing easier than soothing a crying baby… said no one, ever.
Considering babies can’t actually tell you what they’re feeling or what’s wrong, you’ll probably know by now it’s not an easy task.
As parents, we can spend hours wondering why on earth our baby won’t stop screaming – usually crying along with them.
An inconsolable crying baby is one of the hardest things to deal with as a parent.
But please, don’t panic.
A baby’s crying may feel like a nightmare but it’s also one of the ways they can communicate with us and that’s is in what we should focus on.
With this in mind, here are some tips to try that can help your baby.
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Why Is My Baby Crying?
In this article, I’ll be giving you all the tricks on my book to help you figure out why your baby is crying and what you can do.
I will be mentioning some natural remedies and practical solutions on how you can calm and soothe your crying baby.
All babies have their moments, that’s a given.
They can get really fussy and you might start driving yourself crazy, feeling incredibly frustrated about being a new parent.
Try Not To Freak Out, It’ll Get Better Soon
I remember my two first babies were really fussy.
With my first, he just cried for hours on end and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
For instance, I once called an advice line and our main doctor because I was in tears myself, which I knew probably wasn’t helping the situation.
Honestly, I wish I had known what to do.
Even today I wish I had all the answers back then so my child didn’t go through hours of crying and in return, I would have had a better time trying to find out a solution instead of just running around without a clue.
We All Have Been There, Don’t Feel Hopeless
We’ve all been in that situation where we just want our baby to talk to us, to explain what’s wrong so we can help.
I came to realize that even though I had fed him, watered him, changed his diaper and tried to distract him with the outside world, there was obviously an underlying issue.
My main advice?
Above all, try to be patient and keep calm.
Babies cry to tell us that something isn’t quite right.
Even though it might take you a while to understand your baby’s language, you’ll get there soon.
In fact, you’ll learn every cry means something and you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what they need in no time.
Meanwhile, here are some clues.
How To Calm A Crying Baby
There might be several reasons as to why your baby is crying, or even more than just one. Keep that in mind.
Let’s get started on how to soothe your crying baby.
The 5 To 9 Whine
Probably your baby might seem particularly fussy in the evening.
In fact, you might not have noticed until I mentioned it, but you will from now on.
This doesn’t happen just with new-borns, in fact, it’s also with older babies and toddlers too.
Everyone seems to become fussier in the evening, even adults.
‘The Witching Hour’ Can Affect All Of Us
Your baby could be completely normal, with no issues at all. However, this still can happen.
For this reason, I refer to this time as ‘the witching hour’ and the ‘5 to 9 whine’.
It’s also common due to the child feeling tired, hungry and overstimulated, therefore be mindful as to plan ahead and have dinner ready earlier.
Also, ensure that your house is darker and quiet so the stress and stimulation of the day can start to come to an end.
Your baby will understand within a short period of time it’s time to wind down and bedtime is getting closer.
Prioritize Your Sleep
You need the energy to deal with a cranky baby, and sometimes, even when you get your full 7-9 hours of sleep, it can all still be too much.
Since this is a totally possible scenario, you need to prioritize your sleep even more now than ever before.
This way you can have as much energy as your body allows.
Is Your Baby Hungry?
We all know that this is the number one reason as to why a baby might be crying.
Although, once they start getting really worked up it can be difficult to settle them down to actually feed them and you’ll need to take even more time to just calm your baby down.
Since this might be the reason, you’ll need to learn your baby’s feeding cues earlier so they never become inconsolable and end up having less food than they originally would.
It can be harder to calm a baby down, not only due to their bodies becoming extra worked up but also because of their increasing stress hormones levels.
Learn Early Feeding Cues
You might be asking yourself, ‘What are early feeding cues?’
It’s perfectly okay if you haven’t figured it out yet.
In fact, it took me a long time before I realized what they were with all 5 of my babies.
As you can imagine, every baby is different and each one shows different cues.
Your baby might be waking up to eat, and there are early messages that your babies will be sending.
Some early cues include:
- ‘Baby Bird Impersonations’ with their mouth
- Movement during sleep
- Shaking their head from side-to-side
- Turning their head
- Rapid eye movement
- Smacking their lips
- Fist sucking
- Even light sleep alone can be an early feeding cue.
These cues can be missed by parents, especially during the evening hours. Maybe the parent thinks it’s already too early for their baby to be hungry, or that it hasn’t been long since the last feed.
Don’t watch the clock, watch your baby!
Your baby can give you the impression their appetite is off the charts due to them eating non-stop during dinner time.
But, don’t be alarmed. Babies tend to ‘cluster-feed’ during these hours, especially if your baby is breastfed.
On the contrary to what you might be thinking, it’s completely normal and it’s considered a good thing.
Relax, It’s Completely Normal And A Good Sign
If your baby cluster feeds they will feel fuller and satisfied when they get to bed and as a result, this will encourage longer stretches of sleep at night.
Just as important, it will also signal your body to produce more milk, if you’re breastfeeding.
It’s okay to feed your baby again if they’re hungry within an hour (or less!).
Is Your Baby Over-tired Or Over-stimulated?
Babies always seem to be tired, and when they actually are, crying fits tend to be their go-to reaction.
For example, some babies don’t get enough sleep and this can cause crankiness and hysteria as well as making the parents believe their baby is in pain.
Don’t miss out on your babies sleeping cues.
It happens often, and unfortunately, it can lead to an overtired baby fast.
Your baby’s body releases an extra amount of cortisol and adrenaline when they’re overtired, which keeps their brain awake and alert.
Even though they’re so tired and they would love to be sound asleep in bed, this rise in hormones levels makes them far too stressed out to begin falling asleep.
They’re In An Alert Mode
Due to this, it can be really hard to settle your baby down if you’ve missed their sleeping cues, similarly like with feeding cues.
This is a cry I will never forget and neither will you.
As adults, we can feel so much pain when a tooth is coming through so much so, we might never forget that pain.
Now, imagine babies sometimes have several teeth breaking through all at once.
Imagine the pain they must be going through, it’s no wonder why they’re in tears.
They want to do things like eating or suck, but it hurts. It’s never-ending, but fret no more!
There’re teething gels which can help your baby feel more comfortable when they’re going through this.
I don’t know about you, but when I get sick, I feel so much self-pity and I don’t want to leave the bed. I want extra cuddles and extra sleep.
In fact, there’ve been some moments when I’ve cried because of the feeling of being sick was so horrible.
Your baby is no different.
Similarly to us, babies might feel their muscles aching, feel nauseated, lethargic and completely miserable.
Maybe your baby is going through a sick day and for this reason, you think that’s why they’re crying.
Try to give your baby as much love and attention as possible if this is the case.
Tummy pain can be caused by so many different things.
Gas is obviously the number one cause of tummy pain, but don’t worry; I have you covered.
There are a lot of remedies for this listed on this post.
On the other hand, it might also be a food allergy or sensitivity, and if you’re suspicious that this is the case, you’re better off consulting your doctor to find the best alternative or remedy.
We all get uncomfortable sometimes.
While this may be true we have it easy. As soon as we feel uncomfortable, we can identify it and do something about it.
A new-born only knows how to cry, and because they’re too little to move, they rely on us to move them.
They might be too hot or too cold, so do the usual checks of feeling the back of the neck.
They may even want to be held and comforted.
You may think that just because you’re in the same room as them, they’re just fine and while this may be the case, they probably still miss you even if you are steps away.
Is Your Baby In Pain?
Most parents will assume their baby is in pain if they’re crying uncontrollably.
This will obviously worry you and it’s a possibility, but most of the time the reason for a crying baby is being overtired.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you should push your mom instincts to the side!
If you’re really worried about your baby, please consult with your paediatrician.
If your baby is in pain, then it’s most likely caused by gas or reflux. These issues are both easily fixed.
How To Calm Your Baby:
Try feeding your baby.
Although it might not have been long since you last fed them, but it’s worth feeding again just in case.
If you’re breastfeeding there’s a chance your baby is taking in smaller volumes per feeding therefore, they’ll probably need to eat more often.
This can happen in the evening hours. If they don’t seem interested in feeding then try a pacifier.
Similarly to the moment, your baby was first born, they will take comfort in a bit of skin-to-skin contact.
I ended up doing this so much with all of my babies and I truly loved it. I felt really close to them and if they were crying, this would almost instantly calm them.
Try Swaddling Your Baby.
I swaddled all of my babies because it looked so comfortable and I loved seeing them be like a caterpillar in a cocoon about to turn into a butterfly. My favorite part was when I would undo the swaddle and they’d stretch their arms out, almost like an imitation of a butterfly.
Swaddling can also help with startling reflex waking and scaring them.
Keep The Room Quiet And Dark.
I didn’t do this because my babies loved white noise and wouldn’t settle without it. Instead, I’d keep the room dark but just turn a bit of white noise on for them and they’d settle. If your baby doesn’t like white noise, just draw the curtains and keep them in silence.
Silence is soothing in itself sometimes.
Change Their Diaper.
Changing a diaper isn’t just because it might be bothering them if it’s full, but it can be a great trick to distract them. With this in mind, you may want to try singing your little one a song while you change their nappy, so they will focus on you above them rather than on what is bothering them.
Burp, Burp, And Burp Again.
Trapped gas isn’t nice for adults, let alone babies who don’t understand what it is.
Due to trapped gas, your baby will probably really need to burp as they have gas left inside their tummies. Generally, if they keep it in, they will more likely suffer if they don’t bring it back up.
Burp them to ensure any gas is released.
Try A Pacifier.
A pacifier can be a great little helper if you suspect reflux pain. It encourages your baby to suck and swallow more often instead of taking in extra air.
In addition, this will also decrease the amount of saliva that your baby swallows, ensuring that it soothes and coats the digestive system.
Try Frequent But Smaller Feedings.
You’ll find that frequent and smaller meals are better for babies that suffer from reflux or gas.
Most importantly, make sure to burp often during and after feedings and hold your baby upright for about 20-30 minutes to help with the digestion after their feeding before lying them flat.
Try Gripe Water.
I’ve always praised gripe water for working magical wonders. I’ve used it on all 5 of my children and it’s worked really well. It is a popular home remedy which can help with gas, colic, reflux and even hiccups.
Try using a warm pack under your baby’s tummy. If you hold them in the colic hold position with your baby’s chest over your forearm face-down, take the warm pack and place it between your hand and baby’s tummy.
Try a change of scenery.
If my babies were still inconsolable and I found that everything else wasn’t working. I’d simply change up the scenery. Firstly I’d grab our coats, get the stroller ready and take a walk around.
However, If I couldn’t leave the house I’d take them upstairs to play instead of in the living room.
For instance, I’d take them to the window so they could watch the world go by – this is especially effective if you live next to a busy street where lots of people walk by.
Talk to your baby and tell them what’s going on. They won’t answer, but they’re taking everything in.
Switch To Dr. Brown’s Bottles.
If you’re using bottles then try switching it up. Dr. Brown’s bottles are known for preventing babies from upsetting their digestive system by swallowing extra air.
Have A Latch Assessment.
Consult with a lactation professional if you’re breast-feeding.
Your baby might be swallowing too much air or not having enough milk if they seem to have a poor latch.
It can be easy to tell if your baby isn’t latching properly due to the comfort level of mom.
In particular, any pain or discomfort while breastfeeding is a red flag indicating a poor latch is the reason.
I would always have music playing for my babies because I truly believed it’s one of the most comforting things in life.
It doesn’t have to be hardcore rock music or something with lyrics. Just simple sounds would be enough to calm your crying baby.
Gentle bouncing, dancing, rocking or swinging might be able to calm your child. Besides, even a gentle pat or rub on the back is still a soothing movement and can do the trick.
They’re movements which remind your little one of being in the womb and the sound of a heartbeat by the way you tap, so as a result, they feel comforted and safe.
Try The ‘Colic Hold’.
Just hold your baby on their side or stomach, towards or away from your body. If that doesn’t work, try holding them facedown gently over your forearm and bounce or jiggle as you walk.
For example, I used to sing songs to my babies when I’d do the colic hold, so maybe try that too.
‘Wear’ Your Baby.
I struggled with my first two babies to wear a wrap, mainly because I didn’t know how to do it.
However, I was determined to try with my other three and spent hours watching videos on how to master this difficult skill. The main thing I learned? It’s not actually that difficult.
It also gives mom a chance to get some things done and that’s always a plus.
Use A Sound Machine.
I previously mentioned this in the ‘Keep the room quiet and dark’ point, but because I love them so much I’m going to mention it in more detail.
Sound machines soothe and comfort your baby and it makes it easier for parents to slip out of the room without the baby realizing it. There’re a few apps for this or you can simply search for them on YouTube, there’s a huge amount to choose from.
Shush And Pat Their Back/Bottom.
Maybe you have seen tons of moms patting their baby on their bottom or back. You may wonder why they do it.
Above all, it’s to imitate the sound of the mother’s heartbeat, and it can work wonders for your baby.
In addition, you could try to add your own comforting ‘shushing’ noise at the same time, so it’ll more likely your baby will calm down and relax.
Try Chiropractic Care.
Spinal injuries are not the only thing that chiropractors are here for, don’t be scared. They’re actually able to help with lots of different health issues including constipation, ear infections, and gas pain.
I made a visit to a chiropractor at least once for my newborn babies, and that was all that I needed. I didn’t need to go again because I learned how to do it from home, but to get the idea, it’s worth visiting one because it can work and calm your baby down.
Try Infant Massage.
If your baby is suffering from gas, and especially if this is why they’re hysterically crying, you may want to try an abdominal massage.
As a result, this will help them to expel gas, relax and it also encourages frequent bowel movements.
If you feel as if your baby is suffering from constipation and for some reason, a baby massage or warm bath isn’t helping, try Windi.
With this in mind, Windi was designed by a doctor and works really fast to relieve gas and promote a bowel movement.
Buy A Swing Or Bouncer.
Perhaps you’re still in pain from giving birth and in addition to this, you probably have things to do (which we all do) around the house.
Whatever it might be, invest in a swing or bouncer.
Not only you’ll be able to clean around but also it’ll calm your baby all in one. They’re perfect for your baby to sit or lie in, it can also be a great help in keeping them happy and relaxed.
Usually, you’ll go through these tips and find one that works, which is amazing.
You’ll be using it all of the time, but be aware the same trick may not always work in all situations.
Certainly, there are going to be times when the one-trick that generally works to calm your baby down won’t work anymore.
However, try again next time, and maybe the golden trick will go back to do wonders.
This is completely normal.
Every time is different and you just need to go through all the steps to see which helps better.
Although spending an extra 30 minutes going through everything may feel like a waste of time, it’s so much better than spending hours awake at a time crying in a corner.
To sum up…
Have faith in yourself and listen to your babies’ cues.
With this in mind, try to watch this amazing YouTube video, it may help you with this new great adventure.