You Are At: AllSands Home > Kids > Comforting a crying baby
All babies cry. It is an expression to voice their needs. A baby may need milk, attention, change of diaper or change of clothing. Sometimes, a baby cries when she's in a strange environment, or with unfamiliar faces, suffering from colic, is suffering from discomfort in her position or she is just plain tired or bored. With practice, it is possible for the mum or caregiver to discern the different types of cries.

Always check on your baby whenever she cries. A quick response will stop her tears. Prolonged crying gives the baby stress and she'll take a longer time to calm down. Babies cry lesser when they learn to comfort themselves with finger or thumb sucking.

If your baby is a heavy fusser, you may want to examine what are the factors contributing to her cries. Breast-feeding mums can try to reduce or stop eating certain foods which affect her breast milk and makes her baby fussy. Common culprits are chocolates, onions, garlic, drinks containing caffeine and milk products. For formula-fed babies, it may be the position which the baby is fed which causes her distress. Try to consult a doctor or nurse before deciding to change the formula milk.

Other practical ways of soothing the baby are:
1) Soften the lights, quiet her environment and show her tender loving care. Babies are sensitive to bright lights, loud noises and rough movements.
2) Make baby as comfortable as possible. Check her diaper, her skin temperature and know the timing of her feeds.
3) Cuddle your baby. Babies are greatly comforted when closely held. Most prefer snuggling over the mum's left shoulder where they can hear the reassuring heartbeat. It reminds them of the good old times in the womb.
4) Talk or sing to baby in calm tones. Playing soft, peaceful music may also lull the baby to sleep.
5) Babies like rhythmic movement. You can pat her, rock with her in a rocking chair, walk with her or take her for a ride in a stroller.
6) Is colic troubling her? Let baby sleep on her side. Buy a commercially available bolster set that allows her to sleep safely sideways. This position helps to keep her tummy warm and reduces the pain of colic. Consult your doctor to check for wind in her tummy. He may prescribe anti-wind / colic infant drops to break up the gas which is causing her discomfort. Don't let baby wail for log as she swallows air when crying. Burp her often after feeds. Infant colic usually disappears naturally when the baby is between 3 to 6 months old.

Get help for the mum too. A mother who is distraught, stressed or physically tired can't cope with a crying, fussy baby. Take care of yourself well in order to take care of your baby well.