Babies cry even when they’re clean, healthy, and fed. Read this quick guide to soothing an upset newborn for helpful ideas on what to do.
Swaddling helps your baby feel secure, and the enveloping blanket or sleep sack can mimic the womb’s closeness. Many parents find that a swaddle helps babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
If you swaddle the baby, wrap the blanket with the baby’s arms at their sides. Leave enough room around the baby’s hips so they can still move a little, and don’t wrap the baby’s legs straight down and pressed together. Wrapping the hips too tightly and leaving the hips and knees extended puts the baby at risk of developing hip dysplasia.
Carry the Baby
Another way to soothe your newborn is to carry your baby in your arms, a wrap, or a baby carrier. Follow the wrap or carrier manufacturer’s instructions for newborn use. No matter the carrying method, always support the baby’s head and neck.
Rock or Sway
Rhythmic motion can also help calm a fussy baby. Rock or sway as you carry your baby or use a rocking chair or glider for seated movement.
You can also put your infant in a baby swing that works manually or with a motor. If your newborn becomes sleepy, don’t let them sleep in the baby swing. Always put your baby to sleep on their back on a flat, firm surface.
Play White Noise or Sing
Like the other options in this quick guide to soothing an upset newborn, rhythmic sounds can mimic the womb environment, soothe babies, and help them fall back asleep. Sounds from fans or white noise machines can calm babies. You can also try singing and humming to the baby.
When you turn on the sounds, play them loud enough for the baby to hear through the crying or fussing. Once the sound soothes the baby, you can lower the volume.
Offer Your Baby a Pacifier
Newborns have a sucking reflex that activates when something touches the roof of the infant’s mouth. Babies rely on sucking to gain nutrients, and babies suck on their fingers even in the womb.
Wait until your baby is 3 to 4 weeks old to offer a pacifier. If the baby doesn’t easily take to the pacifier, try offering it near the end of a feed when their sucking has slowed.
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