Babies are so precious to watch as they sleep. But once they’re crying, all bets are off. Sometimes, it’s easy to figure out what your baby wants and soothe them right away. Other times though, you’ve got a code 10 cranky baby on your hands.
Add that to your overwhelming exhaustion of taking care of this new little treasure in your life and it becomes even more frustrating. Not to worry, Mom and Dad! Here are 7 tips to help you calm that cranky-pants down and restore peace to your home.
1. LET IT ROCK
Newborn babies are used to the lovely gentle movement they had while inside the womb. Recreating this soothing motion can help them feel more secure and take the crankiness away. A rocker or glider is a great addition to your nursery because you can make that same movement. You may also find a baby swing to be beneficial for those moments when you’re trying to cook or do some chores, though be safe and always be present if you use one.
2. ACCESSORIZE WITH BABY
Put your baby carrier to good use and wear your baby. As long as you’re not going near a hot stove, wearing your cranky kid around the house will also give them that movement they crave with the added bonus of being snuggled up all cozy against you.
3. LET SOUND MAKE BABY COME AROUND
More specifically, white noise sound. It has that same shushing and swooshing effect of all the organs inside your body that provided baby’s soundtrack for 9 months. You can use a white noise machine or find free apps for white noise. Make sure it’s not too loud or too close to the baby to avoid hearing damage though.
4. GET IN POSITION
Commonly, cranky babies are also colicky babies. You can help get baby some relief by placing him on your lap while on his side or belly. If you gently jiggle your legs or do this in your rocker, the crankiness will dissipate.
5. TRY YOUR STAND-UP ROUTINE
Ever dream of being a stand-up comedian? Now’s your chance! Babies are a captive audience that find the simplest things to be funny. If it’s not nap-time or bedtime, try your hand at entertaining baby to distract her. She just might forget why she’s cranky.
6. SOOTHE THE NEED TO SUCK OR CHEW
In the beginning, newborns find comfort in sucking. If you’re breastfeeding, you can calm a cranky baby by letting him eat. Once the latch and breastfeeding have taken off, you can offer a pacifier. As baby gets bigger though, you may find he’s cranky from teething. A teething ring can be a wonderful tool and getting him to mellow out.
7. SWADDLE UP
When your baby was growing inside you, they were bundled up, snug as a bug in a rug. On the outside, it’s a difficult adjustment to this new world. Swaddling helps babies feel secure. You can use any blanket, but a swaddle blanket helps you safely secure little limbs so your cranky baby calms down and goes to sleep.
It might take a combination of all of the above to calm a cranky baby, but once you find that sweet spot, you and baby will be happier for it!