Crying is completely normal behavior for babies. However, some babies cry quite often and are harder to calm. If you have a child like this, it can be very discouraging: it’s heartbreaking to not be able to help your child; it’s also stressful when a baby cries and can’t be settled.
We just brought our son home from the hospital yesterday! Today, I am working on developing a routine, and trying to help calm my son during his crying episodes.
Here are some of the things that I’ve found really help.
Swaddle Your Baby
People have been swaddling their babies for a long time. Even the Bible mentions swaddling infants! When you swaddle an infant, you wrap them tightly in a blanket. For some reason, this actually helps to calm most babies!
In the hospital, nurses swaddle babies with receiving blankets. After 6 children, I am still unable to swaddle very well! I cheat by purchasing swaddle pouches for my infants. It really does work!
Use A Sling
In other cultures, it is very common for parents to carry their children close to their bodies during the day. This calms most children and infants. Recently, I’ve seen a surge in the availability of infant slings in the United States. It is now possible to purchase colorful infant slings in a variety of colors and patterns at most stores that carry infant supplies. However, the practice still is not widely accepted. I am amazed at the comments I receive when I shop in public when I am wearing my infant sling.
I would encourage all parents to consider trying an infant sling. They really do work in helping to calm a crying infant.
If you look at an “experienced parent” holding his or her child, you will no doubt notice that he is slowly swaying back and forth while holding his child. My grandmother used to call this “the parenthood dance”. It really does help to calm a crying infant though! When you are holding your infant, slowly rock or sway back and forth to calm your crying child.
This also helps to calm your crying infant. While your child is crying, speak softly to him or her: it really does help! I’ve noticed that softly speaking to your infant while rocking her seems to have the best effect.
Develop A Routine
Developing a daily routine really helps to decrease the amount of crying episodes that your child has during the day. After a while, they begin to anticipate the next event during the day which helps to decrease their stress levels and their crying.
If none of these measures seem to help decrease your child’s crying spells, you should call your child’s doctor to rule out any medical causes for their crying.