Have a crying baby on your hands? Although it can be distressing, babies cry for many reasons, and they’re not all bad. According to the Child Development Institute, babies cry because they can’t talk, it’s that simple. Babies are human beings, and they have needs and desires, just as we do, but they can’t express them. Their cries are the only way they can say, “Help me! Something isn’t right here!”
Chilcare expert and author Elizabeth Pantley believes that as you get to know your baby, you’ll understand what his different cries mean and will learn to react accordingly. For instance, a hunger cry is very different to a crying baby who is tired, hungry or in pain. Sometimes, little one’s just need love and attention or to feel close and secure with a caregiver.
If you’ve ruled out sickness, hunger, a wet nappy or tiredness, your crying baby might simply be overstimulated. Midwife and childcare educator, Sister Lillian suggests the following ways to calm your baby down…
Here are five ways to calm a crying baby fast
- Run a deep, warm bath and soak with your crying baby for half an hour, no matter what time of the day it is. Place a soft face flannel over your baby’s tummy and offer him a breast or a bottle to feed.
- Massage your baby. Studies show this is one of the most effective ways to soothe a crying baby. Try gentle circular fingertip movements between his eyebrows, on his temples and behind his ears. A daily, full body massage will also help to gradually calm him down, day or night. You can also lay your little one on a big birthing ball while gently rolling forwards and backwards – do this with him lying both on his tummy and his back.
- Play soothing or melodious music to which you can dance with your baby. Music you played during your pregnancy will also calm him instantly.
- Place your baby under a tree where he can watch the constantly changing mobile of leaves blowing in the breeze, the clouds grouping and dappled sunlight making pretty patterns. To avoid overstimulation, place your baby’s mobile over his changing mat, rather than his crib. His crib should be a calm space with minimal activity or bright colours.
- If your baby’s night cries are continuous and the only way to get some sleep is to take him to bed with you – do so. Remember you need to survive this phase and stay as positive as possible. The only way to do that is to find solutions that work for you and your family – not anyone else. You know your baby best so trust your gut and the rest will fall into place.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.