Every new parent faces this dilemma: how to get my baby to stop crying? While it seems impossible, it is not really as difficult and frustrating as you think.
The golden rule to remember: crying is your baby’s only means of communicating. He cannot speak like you or me or even attend to his own needs independently. If he is hungry he cannot ask for food or serve himself or ask for a blanket or cover himself if he is feeling cold. So he cries.
New parents must understand that even the world’s best pediatrician has faced the question “Why is my baby crying?” and hence it is not parental inability which is causing these bouts of tears.
Why do babies cry?
Babies cry when they are hungry, experiencing discomfort of some sort, pain or illness, boredom or just to hear their own voice. As you start handling your baby, you will understand that the pitch and intensity of the cries vary with different needs. By recognizing your baby’s needs and individual way of expressing himself, the job of managing his crying becomes much easier.
What to do when babies cry?
The first step is to distinguish between the medical and non-medical causes for crying. Significant medical problems that cause crying are usually accompanied by other symptoms. But occasionally crying may be the first sign of trouble.
Check if his diaper needs to be changed, adjust the room temperature, check if any article of clothing is bothering the baby and make an attempt to feed him. If he does not calm down, do not hesitate to contact your baby’s pediatrician and have the baby checked.
There is no magic formula to stop a baby from crying and there is no such thing as an easy baby. If you meet a parent who claims that her baby is an angel and does not cry at all, rest assured that this is not the case.
However, there are some tricks which have proven themselves time and again in calming an agitated baby and a smart parent will ensure that it is a part of their arsenal.
Following are top five calming baby tricks for non-medical crying bouts.
Trick 1: Rooting Reflex
This is a newborn reflex in which a baby turns her face towards the side on which her cheek is stroked. The baby perceives that food is being offered and calms down, but be prepared to feed her.
Trick 2: Warm Wipes
Most babies cry while their nappies are being changed. Moisten cotton in warm water before cleaning your baby’s bottom. The baby will prefer it to the damp, cold cotton swab.
Trick 3: A Good Burp
While feeding, the baby also takes in air. A stomach filled with air is very uncomfortable. This is especially true when baby is agitated soon after a feeding session. Give the baby a good burp. Burping a baby means simply holding the baby upright and well supported for 3 to 4 minutes. Hearing a burp sound is not important. What you do with your hands is also not relevant. Whether you pat the baby, stroke downwards or upwards or simply do nothing is your choice.
Trick 4: Change of Surroundings
Infants do not like to be handled or surrounded by unfamiliar faces. This invariably results in a crying spree because the baby feels insecure. The trick is to immediately move to a quieter surrounding. Even if you are at a party, moving to the corridor will help.
Trick 5: Tired Baby
Never over tire a baby. Keeping the baby awake in the hope that he will sleep through the night can back fire miserably. The baby will be over tired and will not be able to fall asleep and will be excessively cranky.