I remember the times when I was a new mom, and rocking back and forth was my natural state of being, because the movement would always calm my daughter, no matter how fussy or cranky she was. My husband used to joke that I rocked and swayed even when I was not holding the baby, and I would laugh and shrug. Calming a fussy baby comes naturally to parents, and we are hardwired to find ways to soothe baby to sleep peacefully. But it is not always easy!
Every parent knows that even the happiest baby will have some fussy moments, it’s all a part of growing up, development and adjusting to the world! So, we need to be prepared to handle those grouchy times.
Babies can be fussy because of a number of reasons, and although we might not always be sure about what’s distressing them, we still try our best to calm a crying baby. While many parents swear by one soothing method that worked reliably for their baby, it is always good to have a backup plan, too.
There are numerous tips to get newborns to sleep, and while some techniques will work on your baby and some won’t, the good thing is that calming a cranky little one is all about comforting the baby and a little about mastering the art of distraction.
My Tips to Soothe a Crying Baby
Here are a few of my tried and tested ways to soothe a crying baby, so the next time you’re in a fix on how to get a baby to sleep, you can put some of these little secrets into action:
1. Wrap Them Up.
Swaddling a new born has been proven to soothe them a lot, and parents all over the world have been trying this method over decades. Newborns are the most comfortable when they feel snug and cozy, similar to when they were in the womb. So, a swaddling blanket or other swaddle system can help recreate that soothing, gentle squeeze for your little one.
Nearly any soft blanket can be used to swaddle a baby, just wrap the baby in a comfortable cloth and see the magic! You can learn various techniques to swaddle the baby online, and you will soon arrive at the one that fits your baby’s needs.
Everyone loves a good massage, right? The power of a soothing touch is beyond compare, especially with babies. A mom’s loving touch combined with a soothing scent and gentle pressure might be just what your baby needs to calm down.
My go to solution for my daughter is the ultra soothing lVicks Baby Rub because of its calming scent, the intense moisturization it provides, its safety and the fact that it is easily available in nearby pharmacies and on e-commerce sites like Firstcry.com. Coming from a trusted brand like Vicks, the Vicks Baby Rub is tested by dermatologists and is therefore safe for babies 3 months and above. It is also available in India, although I first got it as a gift from my aunt who got it for me from Australia.
According to me, a massage or a soft rub helps in calming a fussy baby a lot faster. I recommend it to every new mom because it is comforting and get results quicker. Also, the touch forges a strong bond with each massage, which is something that soothes the kids and gives them the much needed comfort.
3. Sway, Rock, Swing.
Babies love to be in some sort of a repeated motion, at least mine did! Most babies enjoy and even feel calm when rocked. You can try swings because the swaying motion is incredibly calming for babies, and the motion can make them fall asleep in no time. Bouncing is another popular technique used by parents to help a baby go to sleep, especially when the baby is fussy.
For me, rocking my daughter back and forth worked every time. Some people invest in battery operated baby bouncers and I know that these work well in getting a new born to sleep.
And if nothing worked, we took her to a drive in the car because even as a little baby, she loved the motion and the passing lights and landscapes and fell asleep within the first ten minutes of the drive.
Now that she is 5, I tell her all these stories of super late night drives to get her to sleep, or about me rocking her in the middle of the night for hours so that she feels comfortable, and she grins big, hugs me tight declaring that she loves me more. That’s all the reward we parents want, right? And oh, our massage with Vicks Baby Rub is still an on-going tradition in the house because she loves it and I treat this as my special bonding time with her.
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