Family

Hushabye baby

**How to calm a crying or fussy baby and soothe your nerves to boot

**There’s nothing like becoming a grandmother to bring back all the tried-and-true methods of calming a baby. Here are some tips if you’ve got a fussy baby and are running out of ideas:

  • First, do the obvious things. Is she hungry or thirsty? Has she got wind? Does she need a nappy change?

  • oove. Walk, rock or slow dance.

  • Don’t over-stimulate. Don’t bombard the baby with music, toys and books – all they may want is a bit of quiet time.

  • Invest in some calming music such as lullabies or classical symphonies, keep the lights dim and lower your voice. Wait until there is a pause in the crying, then speak softly and soothingly – this will often help to quiet an upset baby.

  • Try a change of scene.

  • If baby is tired or near their sleep-time, try swaddling her in a soft wrap and holding her close while you rock her in a quiet room. If they’re sleepy but too distracted to drop off, then they’ll get frustrated.

  • Use a pacifier.

  • Put the baby in a front pack or sling while you walk around doing things in the house. The movement of your body will soothe them, and the bonus is that you get things done. often, just being near you can be enough to calm them down.

  • Try carrying the baby facing outwards from you.

  • Get out. Put they baby in a pram for a walk or in the car for a drive. Babies respond well to the rhythm and the change of scene.

  • Some people suggest running electric appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers or vacuum cleaners, because the repetitive noise is soothing.

  • Invest in a cradle or bassinet that you can rock while she is in it. This can often be all a baby needs to nod off.

  • Give the baby a massage. For a simple soothing massage, use gentle but firm pressure on her stomach and massage in circular movements. You can also try this on her back by laying baby face-down over your knees on a warmed towel and rubbing with circular movements.

  • Try distracting your baby with toys or a mirror.

  • Phone a friend – either as company for you or for the baby. Someone coming and looking after her for half-an-hour makes a big difference. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – every parent needs it sometimes.

If they’re still crying, lie her in her cot so they’re safe, then take a break. Sometimes you can have worked so hard to stop the crying that you’ve over-stimulated the baby and worked yourself into a right old state. Check on the baby every few minutes to soothe and reassure. If none of this works, go back to square one and check hunger, wind and nappies. often, the situation will have changed and sorting out the basics does the trick.

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