As a parent, seeing your baby cry is painful. For the most part, they simply want to be close, if they're not hungry. So here are 15 tips for comforting a sad little baby.
Let every attempt at comforting take its time. For instance, don’t change position straight away if it doesn’t seem to help; wait a few minutes, try a little longer. Consistency and persistence can be enough to calm your child.
Here are 15 comfort strategies to try:
• Carry your baby on your shoulder, their head against your cheek. Being on your shoulder can help soothe baby’s back and stomach.
• Looking at something new can provide a distraction, such as trees swaying in the wind or a musical mobile.
• Babies are used to snug spaces (think how little space there was in your womb towards the end), so a pram or cot may feel too big and scary. Tuck in the blankets to reduce space and baby will find it easier to settle.
• Swaddle your baby in a blanket, not too tightly, and not too warm, but it can feel nice to be comfortably wrapped up when you’re small.
• A bath before bedtime is a good way to wind down.
• Put baby in a front pack or sling, high enough to kiss his or her forehead. Your child will feel your warmth, be able to smell you, hear your heartbeat, and rock when you move around.
• Talk, sing, and hum – it doesn’t matter what.
• Keep light and sound levels low around baby. Some children are very sensitive and easily become overtired and over-stimulated.
• Hold baby close to you when they’re crying. Most babies love to be close.
• Start singing, change position, or maybe tickle that little belly – distraction and surprise can stem those tears.
• Rhythmically patting baby’s bottom is a proven method for calming.
• White noise - you might find the vacuum cleaner, washing machine, extractor fan, or hair dryer noisy, but many babies find them lulling.
• If breastfeeding works but baby doesn’t seem satisfied, try a dummy, comfort blanket, or your little finger. Some babies have a greater need to suck than to eat.
• Push the stroller back and forward over a small bump, such as a roll in a rug.
• Fresh air can help babies settle. Unfortunately, it’s a myth that all babies love riding in a pram.
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