- SUCKLING Check to see that baby is not hungry. Baby could be going through a growth phase and even though you only just fed baby 15 minutes ago they might just be ready for more.
- ROCKING Gently rocking baby (or swaying) while holding baby or pushing a pram back and forwards.
- SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT Baby has spent 9 month close to you and then all of a sudden we expect them to spend time all by themselves. Doing skin to skin with your baby is one of the best ways of settling an upset baby. Just make sure you are alert and upright and don’t fall asleep while holding baby.
- WALKING Try walking around your house or property or neighbourhood! The movement will be for calming baby and great for your mental health and fitness.
- PATTING As you hold baby against you gently pat them on the back or bottom. It might replicate your heart beat or your body’s natural rhythm.
- SINGING You may not have the best voice in the world but baby won’t mind. Sing anything! From nursery rhymes, magazine articles, recipes to the conversations between you and your partner!
- NOISE If baby truly didn’t like your voice try the TV, music, vacuum cleaner. It’s noisy in the womb so sometimes noise will soothe you baby. Try downloading some relaxing music or lullabies, white noise or books that you can listen too (what a great way to get through a novel!)
- SHOOSHING As with making noise from before a loud shshshshsh noise is the same type of noise baby hears in the womb. It can be done quite loudly in order to distract baby.
- FRONT PACK You might find that if you put baby safely in a front pack and continue on with what you were needing to do that you eventually rock baby to sleep.
- SLEEP FOR BABY Try to put baby down to sleep. Sometimes as a new parent we can miss the ‘tired’ cues like pulling at ears, closing fists, yawning, fluttering eyelids or difficulty focusing – your baby might even go cross-eyed or seem to be staring into space, making jerky arm and leg movements, or arching backwards, frowning or looking worried.
- BATHING Try a nice deep warm bath for baby and you. It can be very soothing and babies often have a good sleep after a bath. Make sure there is someone there to take baby off you once you have finished so that they can help to get baby dressed while you are drying off too. Never bath with baby if you are exhausted or home alone.
- REDUCE STIMULATION Too much stimulation and handling can wind a baby up. Take baby into a quiet room and try some of the suggestions above. Don’t plan big days out that will over stimulate baby in the early days.
- TEMPERATURE Check baby’s temperature. It may not be that they are unwell, baby might just be dressed too warm or maybe too cold. (Place two fingers down baby’s back to see if they are sweating or cool).
- BURPING Breastfed babies don’t often get a lot of wind. But if your baby seems unsettled after a feed try winding baby.
- HAND BABY TO SOMEONE ELSE! There may be no rhyme or reason but sometimes handing baby to someone else works a treat. Maybe baby was picking up on your stress!
- GET HELP! Constant crying can wear anybody down! Call a family member, friend, neighbour or Plunket line 0800933922. If you just can’t handle the stress of baby crying put baby down safely in their bed and walk away. Call someone or just take time out until you feel calm enough to go back to baby.
You are not alone. Every parent will find it difficult to cope with an upset baby at some point. Even if you have the greatest of patience when dealing with everyday situations, a tired or emotional parent will struggle. The safest thing you can do it put baby down in a safe place (e.g. in their bed) and walk away.
It is OK to walk away!!!!!
You are not a bad parent!!!!!
In fact you are being responsible!!!!
Tell caregivers that it is ok to put baby in a safe place and walk away.
Don’t leave baby with anyone that you feel might not cope with a crying baby!