Soothing a crying baby is somewhat of an art for many parents. The techniques to doing it properly are often given as advice from friends, family and other parents that you meet throughout your day. As parents, we all notice a distinct difference in the advice given to us from younger parents as opposed to the advice given from the old timers who have already raised their children into adulthood. I like to call this Old-School Advice and New School Advice as they both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s take a look at some ways to soothe a crying baby:
Keep Them Moving
Old School: This meant that you would pack them into the car and take a drive, first around the block, and if that didn’t work, they would drive farther until the baby would finally fall asleep.
New School: Since driving around your gas guzzler spewing pollutants into the air is frowned upon today, the new school way of soothing a crying baby through movement is to place the baby in your arms, stand with your feet slightly more than hip-width apart, and swivel back and forth at the hips. This method is very effective, by the way and yet another reason why babywearing is so popular now.
Wrap Them Up
Old School: Swaddling your baby is an effective way to soothe them. Simply wrap the baby in a thin, lightweight blanket with her arms across her chest has a wonderful calming effect.
New School: There are a variety of baby carriers available that offer the baby a warm, dark place to sleep with the comfort of mom nearby. Plus, you can easily breastfeed the baby right in the carrier if needed!
Old School: The Old-School way of calming a crying baby was running the vacuum cleaner. The combination of noise and vibration would have them asleep quickly.
New School: New school parents use white noise machines to soothe their babies and they happen to work very well. Whether you choose the waterfall, beach or rainfall, the white noise will calm them down and have them sleeping right away.
Old School: Many times, babies are fussy because they have gas. An Old-School way to help relieve gas was to lay him down across your knees and gently rub his back until he burped. Also, over the shoulder burping with pats directed upward on his back is very effective.
New School: New school parents opt for infant gas drops to relieve gas and the pain that comes with it.
Old School: Many Old-School parents would often bundle their children up in warm, tight or restrictive clothing no matter what the weather was like. This would often result in fussy babies because they were too hot or uncomfortable. Studies have shown that this isn’t needed and that most of the time, children are just fine with the same amount of clothing as their parents.
New School: If your baby is crying because they are too hot, too cold or just uncomfortable, try changing the temperature in your home or car. Also adding a high quality humidifier in your home will make it that much more comfortable for baby and parent.
Other Methods to Soothe Them
Old School: Binkys, soothies or pacifiers, whatever you call them, it is what most parents used to reach for before dentists said they could harm newly forming teeth if the habit sticks around too long. Another Old-School method that seemed to work well for babies was to take them outside for a walk. The change of scenery would often soothe them and become a distraction from their crying.
New School: Try giving the baby an infant massage. You can learn the proper techniques from your pediatrician, or if you are more daring, YouTube.
You can find other tips and tricks for helping soothe your newborn and helping them fall sleep in Elizabeth Pantley’s new book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution For Newborns.