Mom Isn’t Home, How Do I Make the Baby Stop Crying?

Soothe your baby's cries with these strategies.

Even with a clean diaper and a full belly, babies are liable to start crying. It’s not a commentary on you as a caretaker. It’s what they do. And getting the hang of what these cries mean — if anything — takes time. Given that, the best way to react is by being calm and looking for evidence of any precipitating events or reason for discomfort. There might be something. There might not. It’s important to look either way if for no other reason than because, by looking, you will learn to better understand how to comfort not just babies generally but the specific baby in front of you. Remember, babies are individuals too.

All that said, it’s good to have a mental checklist of what might be affecting a bawling infant. Here’s the checklist in case you find yourself alone and in a cold sweat.

  • Pick up and walk around with the baby instead of sitting down with them. In studies, infants under six months who were carried immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease.
  • Hold the baby so that they’re positioned on their stomach or side, rather than their back.
  • Check and change their diaper. A dirty diaper isn’t always recognizable by smell alone.
  • Feed them with a bottle. While babies often cry for no reason at all, hunger is still a common culprit.
  • Burp them, especially if they’ve fed recently. Babies swallow air when breastfeeding or sucking from a bottle, and often have trouble getting it back out.
  • Make like a white noise machine and make some shushing noises. Just don’t pass out.
  • Wrap them with some epic swaddling skills.
  • Rock them gently with a rhythmic motion of any kind.
  • Offer a pacifier or another item they can suck on.
  • Give them a bath.
  • Wait it out. Issues such as colic that can cause a baby to cry have no certain cause or remedy. Colic doesn’t last forever, and time is the best way to take care of the problem.
  • Put them to bed. Easier said than done, but being overtired may be the cause of their crying.

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