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4 Ways to Soothe Your Cranky, Crying Infant

by Marnie Bii | October 5th, 2015 | Behavior, Infants/Toddlers

crying baby (400x400)Once the small mewling cries of an infant evolve into a full wail, you may feel your patience wan and frustration levels rise. As your emotions take a turn for the worst, your infant may pick up on those signals, effectively worsening the crying jags. This seemingly never-ending cycle intensifies as a lack of sleep for both parents and baby adds up. Thankfully, there are many ingenious things you can try to help your infant calm down quickly. As you practice the following techniques, you will find at least one that your infant definitely prefers.

Belly Down Football Hold

The belly down football hold is often recommended for colicky babies due to its ability to soothe the belly and refocus the mind of many infants. To perfect this hold, gently place your infant on his or her stomach, and then slide your arm between the legs to gently cradle your child’s head in your hand. With your arm bent, bring your child up to your chest. Use your other arm for support to keep your baby stable and comfortable. You can perform this hold while walking or sitting, depending on the way your baby responds to these movements.

Gentle Knee Top Back Rub

Babies without actual colic will still grow incredibly cranky in response to trapped gas. You can help your child’s body eliminate the discomfort by performing a gentle knee top back rub. While in a sitting position, place your child, belly down, across the top of your knees. As your baby lies across your legs, the pressure will help the gas move through the body. You should rub your baby’s back in firm, yet gentle, circular motions to provide additional comfort.

Exercise Ball Session

Infants break out of their crying jags in response to novel activities. Laying across the surface of a large exercise ball takes your baby’s attention away from their distress and focuses it onto a positive experience.

Before placing your baby on the ball, place a blanket over the upper surface. Sit with the ball between your legs to keep it from rolling around. Place your baby, belly down, onto the ball with his or her face toward you. Keep a hand on your baby’s back for support. Gently talk to your baby while moving in a circular or side-to-side motion to actively work through the crying spell.

White Noise Swing Combo

When nothing else works to stop the crying, you may need to walk away for a brief breather to gain your bearings. Make the most of the break by placing your child in a secure baby swing with white noise, like a fan, TV static or vacuum, running on the other side of the room.

If the crying jags are a frequent problem, and this technique works, you may want to pick up a dedicated white noise machine for future break sessions. After about five minutes in the swing, many kids calm down or even go to sleep. If not, at least you are ready to try to soothe your crying infant with another hopeful technique.

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