- Family and Parenting
Soothe a Crying Baby
Don't Stress - This is perfectly normal baby behavior...
To a new parent, a crying, fussy newborn baby can be very stressful. In fact, studies have shown that the sound of a baby's cry actually can raise parental blood pressure and heart rate. Studies have also shown that prolonged baby crying can increase baby's blood pressure and cortisol levels as well. Newborns in particular are often fussy or colicky for no apparent reason. Colic is described as a crying fit, usually occurring in the evening hours, wherein a baby may cry for hours on end, for no apparent reason . Colic fits may disappear anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months of age. As a parent, it may help to understand that your baby is getting used to his new life outside the uterus, particularly in his first three months. You can help calm your newborn and get your baby to sleep with a few techniques described below:
Swaddling goes back to ancient times. Remember in the Bible even baby Jesus was described as being wrapped in swaddling clothing? To swaddle your baby, wrap him in a blanket, much like a burrito. There are many web pages available where the technique is demonstrated and described. Or, you can even purchase a pre-folded baby swaddler with Velcro closures. Swaddling restricts the baby's arm and leg movements and will make him feel as if he is back in his mother's womb
How to Swaddle a Baby - Video Demonstration
Using a pacifier or “binky” will help your baby stay calm. Sucking is a reflex in babies and enables them to get their nourishment whether by bottle or breast. Newborn babies will often find it comforting to be sucking even when not eating. Providing your baby with a pacifier will enable him to fulfill his sucking needs.
Massaging your newborn is yet another way to bond with your baby and sooth him at the same time. There are many techniques you can learn. Check with your local YMCA or hospital to see if any classes are offered in this specialty massage.
Newborn babies miss the comforting sound of their mothers heartbeat and blood flow they heard while inside. You can mimic this “white noise” by turning on your vacuum cleaner or TV to a blank channel. More efficiently, buy recorded sounds of a heartbeat or a “white noise” CD currently available.
Remember, you as the parent should not feel guilty about your crying baby. Be patient with yourself and your baby and soon you will have the confidence to soothe your newborn.
For more information on soothing new borns: