How To Calm Down A Fussy Newborn

Watch For Attachment Milestones

How to calm a fussy baby

If your baby has challenges that get in the way of emotional connection, bonding and attachment may suffer. The following attachment milestones can help you recognize your babys attachment progress.

If the milestones are not happening in the right time frame, you should seek help. Fear or stress might make you feel reluctant to evaluate your baby this way, but attachment problems identified early are usually easier to fix.

Calming A Fussy Newborn

Comforting a crying baby can seem like an impossible task at times. As a new parent, its helpful to know some tips on how to calm a fussy newborn.

Ana Stoica, MD, a pediatrician at Penn Fair Pediatrics, recommends a variety of ways to help calm a newborn while theyre upset and provides long-term strategies to help a baby stay relaxed.

Is Something External Bothering Your Baby

A hair may be twisted around your babys little finger, cutting off circulation. Check the diaper too a hair may be twisted around his little penis. There could be a hair in babys mouth, or eye.

Your babys foot may be cramped, or maybe your baby wants to be taken out of one position and put into another.

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Why Is Baby Crying: Nappy Change Uncomfortable Sick

Does baby need a nappy change? If baby has a rash, rinse babys bottom with clean water, gently pat dry and use a nappy cream.

Is baby uncomfortable? Try holding baby upright and patting babys back. Also, check baby isnt too hot or cold. Make sure baby is dressed comfortably.

Is baby sick? Take babys temperature. An average temperature is 37°C. Talk to your GP if youre worried.

Go Through The Checklist: Temperature


We mentioned before that this new world is very intimidating to a baby. It can feel very cold. Parents want to make sure their baby is nice and comfortable, which can often mean that they overdress them. They dont want their baby to be cold, so they layer them up. This could cause fussiness at bedtime when the baby is wearing too many layers.

The rule of thumb has always been to put them in one extra layer than you normally wear. If you wear one layer to bed, put the baby in a onesie and sleeper. Never judge a babys temperature by touching their feet or hands, as these are often cold. Always use the babys torso to judge how hot/cold they are.

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Hold Your Baby Skin To Skin

The Kangaroo Care method is very effective, especially for preemies. It is an old method but it is still used in hospitals today.

Its simple both moms and dads can do this.

Kangaroo Care is the act of holding your baby chest to chest, skin to skin.

You will need to undress your baby down to a diaper, and put him/her against your naked chest. If its cold, you can cover your babys little body as seen below.

How To Calm A Fussy Baby

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Dealing with a fussy baby is never easy for parents. There can be no worse feeling in the world than seeing that your child is upset and feeling like you don’t know how to make it better. However, if you try a variety of strategies and are attentive to your baby’s needs, you’ll be able to calm your fussy baby in no time at all.

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Tips For Keeping Your Cool And Calming Your Baby Down

Remember that your baby has feelings. Babies are emotional beings and experience feelings of happiness, sadness, joy, and anger from the very first moment of life. If, for whatever reason, you are having trouble being responsive to your baby, your child will pick up on those signals. How would you feel if your spouse or parent was unresponsive to your signals or attempts to communicate? Thinking of your baby as an individual with a unique personality may make it easier to interpret and respond to his or her cries.

Choose some techniques for taking a time out. Strategies like counting to ten, going outside, taking deep breaths, putting your baby down and walking around the house for a minute, can all help you maintain a calm frame of mind.

Find a mantra. A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase, often said over and over again, to provide comfort and inspiration. With a crying baby, you may find yourself talking out loud anyway, and a mantra can help provide perspective, comfort, and energy to keep going. Some examples might be: Just breathe,This is hard, but doable, and All will be well.

Baby blues or postpartum depression?

Exhaustion, rapidly shifting hormones, and a challenging child might make you feel frustrated, sad, or even depressed. If you find yourself feeling depressed, worthless, or resentful or indifferent towards your baby, dont try to wait it out. See: Postpartum Depression and the Baby Blues

The 5 S Baby System By Dr Harvey Karp

How to Calm a Fussy Baby

In his book The Happiest Baby on the Block, Dr. Harvey Karp lays out the 5 S system for calming a fussy baby. According to Karp, the 5 S stands for swaddling, side or stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking. By using all five of these techniques simultaneously, parents can soothe even the most colicky baby. Of course, not every baby is the same, and some may respond better to one technique over another. However, the 5 S system provides a helpful framework for parents who are struggling to calm their crying infant. With a little patience and trial and error, the 5 S system can help any parent turn a screaming baby into a sleepy one.

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Soft Singing Or Speaking

Try singing or talking in a quiet tone to relax your little one. The quiet tone can help to relax your baby since they can understand most tones. A reassuring tone can also be soothing if your baby was frightened by something. If you think something in the environment is bothering your baby, try removing that item or removing your baby from that environment and you might see the crying instantly stop.

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Why Is Baby Crying: Hungry Upset Tired

Is baby hungry? Offer the breast or a bottle. Or baby might just want to suck. Offer newborns a dummy, or help older babies find their own fingers.

Is baby upset? Comfort baby by holding in the cradle position or sling. Try gentle rocking, walking, whispering or singing. Try to keep light and noise low.

Is baby tired? Try wrapping baby gently but firmly. Then put baby down to sleep in a safe place.

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Soothing Sounds And Serene Atmosphere

Sing your favorite soft song or classic lullaby to soothe your baby and let them know youre there. If youre not much of a singer, try a white noise app for soothing sounds like ocean waves and forest sounds.

This works best in a darker room thats not too hot or cold for baby. If the singing or sounds arent working, try eliminating distractions and comfort baby in a quiet space.

If Your Baby Seems To Have Gas You May Want To:

  • Spend extra time burping baby. If your baby doesnt burp after a few minutes of trying, its OK to move on and try something else!
  • Bicycle their legs in the air. This technique is also useful if your baby is constipated.
  • Try over-the-counter options. Before you consider gripe water or gas drops, discuss options with your babys doctor first.
  • Choose slow-flow bottle nipples. By adjusting the nipple flow, less air may enter your babys digestive system with their milk.
  • Change your babys formula. Before giving up on a beloved formula brand, you can also consider trying the same formula in a ready-made formula version, which might lead to less gas than the powdered kind.
  • Experiment with your diet. If your breastfed baby is showing signs of gas discomfort and youve tried other solutions to no avail, it may be time to consider eliminating certain foods from your diet.

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Coping With A Crying Colicky Or Unresponsive Baby

You already know that no two babies are alike, but this reality may still hit you hard when you hear other parents talking about how easy their babies are or how their newborn sleeps peacefully through the night. Try to avoid comparisons and specific expectations, as they can create negative feelingsespecially if you have a very challenging baby. Give yourself a break if you are having feelings you didnt expect. It may take a bit of time to get in sync with your baby, but the extra work will be worth it!

For stressful situationswhen your baby wont stop crying or wont respond to you, and when you are feeling frustrated, tired, and angryyou need to develop some strategies for taking care of yourself. When youre calm and centered, youll be better able to figure out whats going on with your child and soothe his or her cries.

Recognize your limits. Pay attention to internal warning signs when you are feeling overwhelmed. The sooner you spot your personal limits, the easier it is to plan aheadfor extra help, a break, an excursion outside, or a quick pep talk from a friend or loved one. These small steps to prepare will help you get in the best frame of mind to care for your baby.

Reach out for support. If you can, enlist help during the fussiest times of the day. Say yes when people offer to help with housework, meals, or babysitting. Find a group of moms to talk to and get out of the house when you can. Knowing you have some help on the way can make a big difference.

Reasons Your Baby May Be Crying

Your baby may be:

  • Hungry. Watch early signs of hunger, such as lip-smacking or moving fists to his mouth.
  • Hot or cold. Dress your baby in about the same layers of clothing that you are wearing.
  • Wet or soiled. In the first few months, babies wet and soil their diapers a lot.
  • Spitting up or vomiting a lot. Some babies have symptoms from reflux. Contact your childs doctor if your baby is fussy after feeding, arches his/her back, has excessive spitting or vomiting, and is not gaining weight.
  • Sick . If your baby is younger than 2 months and has a fever , call your childs doctor right away. Rectal temperature is the most accurate temperature in infants.
  • Bored. Go for a walk with your baby. Sing songs or read books with your baby.

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Why Babies Cry So Much

Crying is how babies communicate. While it can be challenging to distinguish between the types of cries of a newborn baby, as babies get older, parents can sometimes differentiate an “I’m hungry” cry from an “I’m tired” cry.

Babies cry because they are:

  • Hungry
  • Tired
  • Lonely

Sometimes, cries can easily be satisfied with food or a diaper change. Always respond to your baby’s cries. You cannot “spoil” babies by picking them up when they cry. Being held is reassuring and comforting when a baby cannot express herself any other way.

Although babies cry to communicate, this crying can continue for a long time for no apparent reason. Crying can be a mystery and it can stop as quickly as it began. Your baby is not mad at you, nor is your baby trying to make you look like a bad parent.

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Calming A Crying Baby: Why Babies Cry At Night

How to Calm a Fussy Baby

New parents often wish they had a magic baby cry decoderespecially to figure out why babies cry at night. Learn about the different causes of crying, and get tips on how to stop a crying baby today.

Newborns cry a lotbut they sleep even more. Most newborns sleep about eight to nine hours during the day and another eight hours at night, though not all at once. Your baby probably wont sleep through the night until shes at least three months old. Some babies dont sleep through the night until six months or older. So it stands to reason that lots of crying starts up when you thought she was sleeping peacefullyor when youre trying to sleep.

Crying is your babys primary way of sending you a message. Babies cry at night to signal that they are in need of your help. Whats she trying to tell you when she wakes up wailing or cries in her sleep? Here are the main reasons why babies cry at night, and what to try when youre wondering how to stop a crying baby.

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How To Soothe A Crying Baby

My most exhausting parenting memories have to do with being unable to soothe a crying baby. My husband and I had two children three years apart, on our own, thousands of miles away from our families. We were both in the startup phases of our careers, and so we took turns: We swaddled the babies, walked the hallway, put them on the dryer, swayed to music, drove in the car, used pacifiers, sat in a steamy bathroom, and rocked in the rocking chair. For a couple of years, I was so tired, I could hardly string complex sentences together at work.

New parents know this drill. And there are two big questions that arise pretty quickly: How do you get it to stop? and When can we start letting the baby cry it out?

My own childhood was not a great guide. I grew up in a time and place where the attitude toward crying even among normal parents could be summed up by the dictum, Quit your crying, and Ill give you something to cry about. I wanted to take a different path.

Developmental science, though, was a good guide:

Crying in the first three months of life

These responded-to babies also transitioned more quickly to other, non-crying modes of communication, like facial expressions, gestures, and vocalizations, later in the first year.

A predictable pattern

Though every baby is a little different, normal crying in the first three months of life follows a fairly predictable pattern:

Why do young babies cry?

Holding, carrying, feeding: Whats the evidence?

Crying it out?

What Should I Do If I Suspect Colic

Take your little one to the doctor to ensure there are no underlying medical conditions. Call a doctor immediately if your little one is vomiting, running a fever, or having bloody stools, as these are not symptoms of colic. Once youve ensured that your baby is just colicky, you can work on ways to manage it.

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Is Your Baby Hungry

Keep track of feeding times and look for early signs of hunger, such as lip-smacking or moving his/her little hand to the mouth.

If it will help, keep a diary of when your baby is awake, asleep, eating, and crying. Write down how long it takes your baby to eat or if your baby cries the most after eating. Talk with your childs doctor about these behaviors to see if her crying is related to sleeping or eating.

Why Does My Newborn Wake Up As Soon As I Lay Them Down In The Bassinet

5 Tips for Managing a Fussy Baby at Night

Well, its probably a combination of reasons that all relate to the huge change in the environment your baby experienced when born. In the womb, your baby was snugly cacooned inside of you, in the warm and dark with the loud swooshings and wooshings of your body hard at work, while being gently rocked and swayed and jiggled keeping that calming reflex almost permanently on.

Out in the big wide world, sleeping in your arms or on your chest is the next best thing, with several similar sensations that help keep your little one calm, content and easily able to fall asleep.

Unfortunately, anywhere else pales into significance and that includes the bassinet hence often your newborn wakes up as you put her down.

But, hopefully, now you can have a good stab at figuring out how to get a newborn to sleep in a bassinet, with 8 different things to try dont resign yourself to the fact that your baby only sleeps in your arms yet.

If youve skipped ahead, jump back to the main body of this article by clicking here: How to get your newborn to sleep in her bassinet

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Am I The Reason My Baby Wont Stop Crying

Are you distracted, overwhelmed, and at breaking point? If youre stressed out and exhausted, youre going to have trouble relating to your baby in a soothing, nurturing way. So, its important to get the support you need.

  • Feeling neglected, isolated, or unsupported.
  • A previous victim of abuse or neglect.
  • Fortunately, there are great opportunities for overcoming the limitations a parent or child may bring to the attachment relationship. Parents who learn how to calm themselves, ask for support, and communicate with their infants can find the means for creating a successful attachment relationshipessentially teaching by their exampleeven with an upset or unresponsive infant.

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