Top mom tips from Finn + Emma…
Babies cry; it’s a fact of life. And it’s one of their only means of communicating in the first months of life. But, as a new mom, it can often be tough to understand why your baby is crying and what they might be trying to tell you. Today we’ll help you decode baby’s cries—and share our top five tips for soothing your little one.
Why is my baby crying?
When baby cries, he or she is usually trying to tell you that something isn’t quite right, or that something could be better. First ask yourself if any of the following may be the root cause of baby’s “complaint”:
- Is baby hungry (or do they need to be burped?)?
- Is baby wet or messy?
- Is baby too cold or too hot?
- Is baby sleepy?
- Is baby feeling scared or lonely?
- If none of the above, could baby be sick? (If baby has a fever or otherwise seems in distress, contact your pediatrician.)
If you were experiencing any of these conditions, and felt helpless to fix the situation, you might cry, too! But if food, freshening up, adding or removing layers, napping, or holding and comforting baby isn’t doing the trick, here are some specific things you might try, inspired by “The 5 S” system as devised by Dr. Harvey Karp.
What are the best ways to soothe baby?
If you were a baby, wouldn’t you want to have a wearable blanket (preferably in breathable organic cotton), to keep you feeling perfectly cozy? Exactly. Swaddling is comforting to most babies and can work wonders on even the fussiest of babes. (If you’re looking for some great basic blankets that are ideal for swaddling and more, might we suggest these?)
- Change positions or scenery
Like all of us, sometimes baby just needs a change of situation. If baby is wailing away while lying on his or her back, see if things don’t improve with a switch to lying on one side or the other, or on their stomach. You can also, of course, pick baby up, walk around, or go into a different room; anything that changes baby’s perspective and position.
- Gentle motion
“Rock-a-bye, baby…” Many babies become more relaxed when they experience a gentle rocking or swinging motion. Try rocking baby in your arms—and/or try a baby swing. For more tips, see our blog on How to Safely Use a Baby Swing.
- Peaceful sounds
As noted by What To Expect, “Your little one came into the world accustomed to background sounds…in utero, [your baby] was surrounded by ambient sounds for nine months, and may find a low hum comforting now.” Many of today’s smart speakers have white-noise functionalities, so it’s worth a try (especially if there are disruptive noises going on in your home when baby is trying to sleep)! Alternatively, sing baby a lullaby.
It’s not called a “pacifier” for nothing. But whether it’s a finger, binky, or something else, many babies feel calmer when they are sucking on something. Also, as baby starts teething, you can help reduce their discomfort by offering a soft and smooth teething toy. (Might we suggest these adorable pacifier holders or wooden teethers?)
Every new baby is different, and as you get to know your little one better, you’ll grow to understand what his or her different types of crying might mean. And, with the help of these tips, hopefully you’ll be well prepared to soothe!