No matter how calm your baby is, there are many such moments when even a calmest baby gets fussy, cranky. And we have no clues what’s wrong. The biggest challenge with infants is they cannot express it. They just cry to show their discomfort. Crying is their way of saying “Mom, I need you.”
Here is what I have learnt so far from my observation and being a mom of two kiddos about why a baby might cry and how to calm down a crying baby?
Decoding the wails:
First let’s see why a baby might cry?
# They are hungry
# They have a solid diaper
# They are sleepy
#They want you to hold them
#They are bored
So, what can we do?
Every new parent get these 5 S’s in their exit hamper from the hospital.
- 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. …
- Shushing. Create “white noise” that drowns out other noises: run the vacuum cleaner, hair drier, fan or clothes drier.
Along with these, you can also
-Look for clues: Very important. Look for the signs. If we pay close watch then we should be able to understand their body language and facial expressions. For example: If the baby is hungry, they usually stir or turn head.
You will see them taking their hand to mouth. If they are rubbing their eyes then they are sleepy. Don’t try to entertain them.
If they do not allow you to touch their tummy then they are experiencing tummy ache.
Alright, so your baby is still crying. You tried everything – feeding, changing, comforting – but nothing worked. May be s(he) needs something else…
-How about taking a small walk outside if possible?: Sometimes the baby is bored being indoors. Outside stroll can distract them very easily. If the weather doesn’t permit then just stand in your patio. Let them see cars, trees, birds, sky.
-They want to be cuddled: Babies too have expectations. Even though they like free play but still the need to be picked up just like that. They might come to you crawling and will ask you to pick them. Touch stimulates receptors in the brain that calm your baby and research shows that long, smooth strokes tend to work better than short, brisk ones. Try caressing your infant’s cheek, back, legs, or stomach. After a while they will be busy again in their play.
-Talk: The familiar tone of Mom’s voice is one of the most effective soothers for babies. Speak quietly so your baby isn’t overwhelmed. Sing calm, slow songs, such as lullabies.
-Don’t force them to eat if you see them sleepy: Sometimes, babies change their routine. If it’s their lunch time but they are sleepy then let them take a nap. That way they will fresh after waking up and will have their lunch happily. No more tear session. Happy baby-happy mommy..:)
-Massage: The warm touch of your hands can console your baby instantly. Be aware of your baby’s cues. If s(he) wriggles or fusses, stop and try again another time.
Your baby’s foot is divided into different zones. By applying pressure to certain area, you will be able to soothe and comfort-providing relief from discomforts while bonding with your baby
-Chanting the OM mantra: Frankly speaking, this was the reason I wanted to write this post. Recently I saw a video on facebook. In that a dad was holding his baby close to his chest and chanting the OM mantra and the baby went to sleep. How magical right? They say “Om” has the mystical powers and it has a calming effect. The vibrations coming out from the chanting can helps you and your body to relax. I tried this with my son and it works. Interesting part is my son’s name is also Om.
So, here is a quick reminder:
Crying is a normal part of your baby’s life, and after some experimentation, you and your baby will figure out how to calm her down together. Very soon you’ll be better able to decipher what s(he)needs.