Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Five Ways to Calm an Infant

I remember as a first time mom how helpless I felt when I didn't know what to do with my crying infant. There were moments when it seemed there isn't anything that should make the baby cry, but there I was, not knowing what else to try. Now with our second it doesn't seem nearly as stressful, but still it breaks a mother's heart when an infant seemingly cries for no reason. Though all babies are different, here are some possible ways to soothe an infant that work for us [most days]. 

Babywearing: I don't know what I would do without my trusty Moby Wrap and Ergo Baby Carrier. They are lifesavers. Not only does my infant nap well in the wrap during the day, it is one of the best ways to calm him down if he is fed, changed, but still fussy. 

Nursing: Obviously nursing calms a baby, even if he isn't hungry. When baby E started crawling, it would be a sure way to calm her down if she hurts herself or falls. I never feared becoming my baby's 'pacifier', after all - they grow up so fast, it is only a brief time they will need so much of you. I rely on nursing a lot to calm a baby, but it should never be forced, only if the infant wants to nurse (which may not be the case when they are sick). 

Talking or singing: Sometimes you just need to put your infant down and start talking to him or her. This worked to calm my baby on many occasions. Talk to the baby like an adult, not baby talk. With a smile on your face! They often tune in to listen to your voice and forget whatever is ailing them. Singing may also work well, especially at bedtime. I used to sing to my toddler when she was younger, every day at bed time. Now I sing to the two of them. You can also play some bedtime tunes on your iPod or a CD.  

Classical music: We were gifted with two very musical children. Both my older daughter and our three month old love music. A sure way to calm baby T when he cries is to turn up some classical music, he listens to it and calms down. This is a lifesaver in the car when there is nothing I can do while he cries in his car seat.  

Outdoors: I don't know about your kids, but both my 3 year old and 3 month old are always happier when they are outdoors. It's tough to get out in the New England winters (winter gear helps), though this one has been a mild one. In the spring, summer, and fall you will rarely see us indoors in the afternoon. It does everyone some good, and clears my head as well. It may not always calm a crying infant, but for us it works like a charm in combination with babywearing.

Image: Dynamite Imagery /

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