As a parent, there’s nothing more frustrating and unnerving than not being able to settle your crying baby. As most would know, when your child cries it’s their way of communicating their needs and it’s important to understand to the best of your ability what they may be trying to tell you.
A persistent crier can be stressful for both yourself and your little one. In understanding potential factors and how to settle your bub, you will learn to stay calm and begin settling faster.
Babies desperately crave what we call the fourth trimester in the first three months, a recreation of a womb like feeling. Swaddling your baby helps to soothe and recreate this womb-like feeling for them, they love it! Practising this technique from day one will help them associate the motions with soothing as well.
Your little one will cry if they are too overstimulated and in the early months this can happen from moment to moment without you even being aware of it! Each time you put your baby to sleep (including nap time) play some white noise. The sounds of waves or rain are very soothing, and remind them of the womb like sounds they are missing.
During the first six weeks of life your baby will still be learning the difference between daytime and night-time. Feeding your little one outside of their room during the day, and putting them to sleep in a dark room during nap and sleep times, will help them learn to differentiate between awake times and sleeping times. An overtired baby will cry and show many tired signs such as rubbing eyes, arched back, and yawning.
Giving your baby a safe lovey (soft toy) is an excellent comfort source and can calm them in times of stress. As early as four months (not before) place the toy in your baby’s crib and over time they will most likely attach to it.
The teething process (which for most begins at around six months) can be a very painful process resulting in a lot of tears. Similarly, tummy problems such as gas can be extremely painful. Always consult with your doctor beforehand but in some instances pain medication may be the answer to help your baby feel better.
Every baby has a sucking tendency which is determined in utero. Preferencing either their thumb or a dummy, or in some circumstances nothing at all, satisfies their craving and can soothe a stressed baby.
If your little one is still upset after exhausting all of your options, it is important to remind yourself that you can take a break, relax, and gather yourself. Place your baby in their cot and step out of the room, allowing yourself space to breathe away from the sound of crying.
If you find that you’re still not relaxing and your baby is still upset, remember it is okay to ask for help. Ask your partner, a friend, or a relative for support to give yourself the chance to remove yourself from the situation and allow someone else to address it with fresh eyes.
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