1. Respond to her cries in a variety of ways. Infant specialist Magda Gerber reminds us that when a baby is crying, you can ask the baby what the crying is about. Obviously, babies won’t be able to tell you in words, but by really paying attention to the baby’s signals and trying different responses you can eventually figure it out. 2. Give your baby some space. Try giving your baby plenty of time when she is not in any carrier or other confined space. Put her on her belly (when awake and active) on a blanket and let her experience moving.
Some babies really enjoy doing this without clothes and diaper. 3. Talk to your little one. If she fusses, come close and in a gentle voice talk to your baby and reassure her. You can also sing to her or play some music. 4. Touch her. You can touch your baby without always picking her up. If she is on a blanket on the floor, you can sit or lie down next to her and gently touch or rub her body. 5. Wrap her up. Alternately, some babies prefer to be wrapped snugly in a blanket. 6. Change her location. Sometimes changing a baby’s location will help her settle.
Many babies love to be outside. If you can find a protected place outside — with a comfortable temperature — you can move her blanket and go to sit with her outdoors. For young babies, be wary of windy days. 7. Try a baby carrier. Use a sling or other front carrier and see if you and she enjoy the closeness a baby pack offers for part of the day. 8. Watch how she comforts herself. Often even very young babies develop tools to calm and comfort themselves. 9. Make time for you. If possible, regularly arrange a few minutes (or more) to take care of yourself.
Keeping yourself refreshed will help you be the resourceful parent you want to be. 10. Remember, you can’t spoil a baby. When in doubt,on the side of giving your baby too much attention. It is a limited time period that she will need you so completely. In a few short years, she is not going to be very interested in having you hold her all the time. Responding to her cries and requests now helps her develop confidence and hopefulness that the world and the people in it are trustworthy.
1. Crying Baby, Sleepless Nights Sandy Jones, copyright 1992, The Harvard Common Press 2. Brazelton, T. B. (1983). Infants and Mothers: Differences in Development. New York: Delacorte. 3. Sammons, W. A. H. (1989). The Self-Calmed Baby. Boston: Little Brown. 4. Crying: The Early Weeks Dr. Benjamin Spock 5. Crying Out Loud Deciphering and soothing your baby’s cries Charles E. Schaefer, Ph. D. 6. Tom Hanna BETTER THE BABY CRY THAN THE BABY DIE Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome 1999 7. Plunkett. Fatal pediatric head injuries caused by short distance falls. American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology 2001; 22:1-12.