What Is Shaken Baby Syndrome
Shaken baby syndrome, or abusive head trauma, is when a child’s brain is injured from physical abuse. Most cases happen when a parent or caregiver shakes a baby while angry or frustrated, often because the baby won’t stop crying. These injuries can cause permanent brain damage or death. No one should ever shake a baby for any reason.
Finding ways to ease a parent or caregiver’s stress when a baby is crying can help stop shaken baby syndrome.
Create A Soothing Atmosphere
Newborn babies get overstimulated easily, so use gentle stimuli to soothe your babys nerves and calm crying. Try a white noise generator or playlist, and encourage your baby to suck on something, like a pacifier or a clean finger. Wave-like sounds and sucking sensations remind your baby of the safety and security of the womb and the parent-child bond.
How To Make A Baby Stop Crying
From shushing to swaddling to walking away, heres how to soothe a baby and get them back to sleep.
Why is my kid crying? Its something all parents of infants ask themselves night after night. Theres no Rosetta Stone for baby noises and a lot of the time, even baby isnt sure what she wants. But there are two rules that can help parents make more sense of the cacophony of sounds emanating from their children: Listening attentively and methodically so you get to know what your babys different cries mean and not freaking out.
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Parents tend to view crying as sign of distress, but we have to realize its the only way they can communicate, says Dr. Sharon Somekh, a pediatrician in Long Island, New York. The challenge is to figure out why your baby is crying and then troubleshoot the best way to help them.
Heres how to make a baby stop crying.
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Try The Reverse Football Hold
The reverse football hold can be comforting for babies, especially if they are having gas pains. This position puts gentle pressure on babys tummy, which can help get the gas out. Here is how it works:
- Try laying your baby on his stomach or side on your forearm, with his head toward your elbow.
- Use the palm of your hand to apply gentle pressure to your babys tummy. You can hold onto your his for added stability.
- Use your other hand to gently rub and pat his back.
- Sway softly back and forth. This gentle rhythmic motion can help soothe your baby.
If you are nursing your baby, make sure you are not getting too much caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant and can actually cause your baby to cry more and have a hard time falling asleep.
When And How To Put Your Baby To Sleep
A lot of people may tell you that you should put your baby down to sleep when they are drowsy, but not fully asleep. This is a good goal, but it is not always possible. Many babies fall asleep while you are holding them, breastfeeding or bottle-feeding them.
You also might hear from advocates of the eat, play, sleep bedtime routine, in which babies feed, play for a short amount of time, and then go to sleep. But, this method can lead to unnecessary frustration for parents and dehydration and failure to thrive in babies.
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/10 Flipping The Light Switch
To calm down and distract a crying newborn, you can simply try flipping the light switch on and off. This is a little trick that is free to try and use but can ultimately be a priceless tool to add to your arsenal of tricks and hacks to help soothe your little one.
Once your little one sees the flick of the light going on and off, it will be sure to capture their attention and make them forget that they were crying. Your baby gets a free light show out of the deal, too, which will surely put a smile on their face.
Make Sure About Wet Or Dirty Diaper
If you think your baby is crying because of some other reason, make sure that the diaper needs to be replaced. If its too dirty, clean it properly and change it. Babys cues will give you the idea that a diaper change is needed. If you feel that there could be any other reason for your baby to cry. Then try to distract them from the main point by providing something interesting for them to play with.
For example, if he is trying to reach toys fixed on the ceiling you can engage them with something of more importance to him. Or maybe some milk would do the trick if the baby is hungry.
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Tips On Managing A Crying Newborn
If your baby cries a lot, it can be frustrating, upsetting and overwhelming. Its OK to take some time out until you feel calmer. Put your baby in a safe place like a cot, or ask someone else to hold your baby for a while.
These ideas might help you and your baby:
- Reduce the stimulation around your baby for example, try sitting with the baby in a quiet, dimmed room.
- Take your baby for a walk in the pram or a sling. Movement can sometimes be soothing.
- Try playing white noise like a fan or the radio tuned to the static between stations. This can help to settle your baby.
Consider Other Relief Strategies
If the cause of crying is still a mystery, try:
- rocking baby in a chair or in your arms
- swaddling your baby
- placing them in a windup swing
- giving them a warm bath
- singing to them
If you suspect your babys in pain, check hands, feet, and genitalia for a hair tourniquet , which can certainly set your baby off.
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Let Them Sleep Properly
If your baby is not sleeping properly at night and crying so much you do not know what to do. It might help to look into developing a routine. How to get a baby to stop crying? Make them comfortable before putting them to sleep and give yourself enough time. So there arent any interruptions in their rest. Even if they wake up at night, go right back to sleep. Usually, a baby cries because he/she feels disturbed and if their sleep is uninterrupted they will be the happiest baby.
Attachment Milestone : Shared Joy
Sharing joy with your baby establishes a connection between sensory experiences and safe and loving interaction with another person.
Your baby seeks engagement with you and participates in the back-and-forth exchange of gestures, smiles, sounds, and movement. Your baby will probably need frequent breaks from interacting.
You continue to let your baby lead the exchange. When your baby wants to interact, you respond with playful activity. If your baby wants to take a break, you slow down.
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My Newborn Wont Stop Cryingnow What
Finding it impossible to stop the tears? Experts say a small percentage of crying is inconsolable. Even if you try everything that comes to mind to soothe your baby, dont assume you can stop all crying, says Dr. Ron Barr, PhD, a crying expert and professor in the department of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia. Some crying is unsoothable and thats okay. Your baby is fine and youre doing a good job.
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Replicate The Safety Of The Womb
When baby wont stop crying, try certain techniques that mimic the coziness and darkness of your womb, Casares suggests. Try:
- Giving baby something to suck
- Swaying baby in your arms
- Gently shushing baby
- Holding baby on their side facing outward
Other ways to replicate babys experiences in the womb? Playing white noise and talking quietly to baby so they hear your voice.
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Attachment Milestone : Attention And Regulation
Attention and regulation go hand-in-hand, because a baby who can’t calm down won’t be able to pay attention and interact with you.
Your baby has periods when they are calm , attentive , and shows interest in faces, but doesn’t necessarily engage with you at this point.
You follow your baby’s lead. When your baby pays attention to you, you respond with gentle touch, soothing tone of voice, and playful facial expressions. When your baby looks away, you do the same.
Calming And Soothing Your Baby
Tip: Try using a baby sling or carrier to keep your baby close and have your hands free. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully to ensure that your baby is secure.
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Crying: How Your Baby Communicates
Since your baby can’t verbalize her needs, just about the only way she can communicate is by crying, and it’s normal for a newborn to cry for one to four hours every day. As a parent, itâs up to you to try to figure out why she may be crying. It can be a tough job, but you’re the person to do itâtrust in your abilities!
After a while you may start to recognize the different cries your baby makes. For example, your little oneâs hungry cry may be completely different from a cry signaling sheâs feeling distressed. Eventually you’ll get better at picking up on your baby’s signals and you’ll know how to get your baby to stop crying by responding to her cues.
Checking The Baby For Signs Of Discomfort Hunger And Gas
Different cries mean different things. Check to see if a stray hair has made a tourniquet on a toe or finger and is causing discomfort or whether your baby might be too hot or too cold. Hunger is another popular source of screaming, or they could have gas or just be tired, which tends to be the least understood cry. There are times, however, that your baby will seem to be crying for no good reason.
The 10- to 12-week period, for example, can be a fussy stage for babies and theyre not yet able to self-soothe at that point, says Janet Kennedy, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, founder of NYC Sleep Doctor, a sleep-consultation service and author of The Good Sleeper: the Essential Guide to Sleep for Your Baby .
It requires a lot of hands-on work to keep them calm in this period, particularly during a couple hours a day when theyre kind of out of control, she says. Its very stressful for parents, especially if youre misinterpreting that fussiness as something else and you end up overfeeding or just struggling because you dont know whats going on.
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How To Help When Your Newborn Wont Stop Crying
Crying is your babys way of communicating with you, so its important to figure out why theyre upset. By paying attention to their cues, you can usually figure out what they need and help comfort them.
There are some things to try first when trying to calm your little one. For example, make sure your crying newborn is fed, burped, changed, and well-rested.
If they continue crying and you dont know why, youll need a few tricks up your sleeve to help calm, distract, and soothe your sweet one.
Weve got you covered! Lets take a look.
Where To Turn For Help
If your baby is crying or upset often, or unresponsive, you should seek help from your pediatrician or a child development specialist. Your pediatrician should be able to recommend a specialist in early infant behaviors to help you figure out if there is a problem and what to do about it. Alternately, contact the pediatrics branch in your local hospital and ask about services in your area, such as:
Parenting skills classes. Available in many areas, coaching and education for parents and caregivers can build necessary parenting skills and offer support and advice.
Support groups. Run by peers rather than professionals, support groups provide a safe environment to share experiences, advice, encouragement, and coping strategies for parents of babies who won’t stop crying.
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In Babies Over 3 Months
Newborn crying has a physiological basis, such as hunger, and infants this young rely on a parent to soothe them, explains Patti Ideran, OTR/L CEIM, a pediatric occupational therapist who focuses on treating infants with colic, crying, and sleeping or feeding difficulties.
Babies older than about 3 or 4 months of age have likely mastered self-soothing, by using a thumb, fist, or pacifier. But that doesnt mean they dont have their vocal moments. They may be frustrated, sad, angry, or have and use crying as a way to communicate those feelings.
Teething pain is also a big reason for crying in older babies. Most babies sprout a first tooth between 6 and 12 months. In addition to fussiness and crying, your babys gums may be swollen and tender, and they may drool more than usual.
To relieve the discomfort of teething, offer your baby a clean frozen or wet washcloth or a solid teething ring. If the crying continues, talk to your pediatrician about giving an appropriate dose of acetaminophen . You can also give ibuprofen if your baby is older than 6 months.
Here are the things to try if you have an inconsolable little one:
Final Thoughts On How To Make A Baby Stop Crying
Most soothing techniques fall into one of the five categories: swaddling , side/stomach position, shushing , swinging , and suckingalso known as the 5 Ss!
What do these techniques have in common? They all impersonate the womb!
Parents have used many of them for millennia, but our generation is the first in history to know that they work by switching on Baby’s innate calming reflex, which is nature’s “off switch” for fussing and “on switch” for sleep.
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/10 Try Chanting Or Humming Om
A little-known trick to calm a crying newborn is by making the om sound. A father once recorded himself on video trying this trick to soothe his newborn baby girl and it worked like magic every time. Sometimes, it really is the simplest of things that work like a charm when you are trying frantically to calm your little one down.
If for whatever reason chanting om isnt working as well as you would like, you can also try saying the more traditional, shh, shh, shh in your babys ear while rocking her.
About Newborn Baby Behaviour
Sleeping, feeding, crying. Thats what newborn behaviour is all about in the first few months.
Although your baby might give you some eye contact, crying is probably the main thing youll notice about your babys behaviour. For example, your baby will cry because they feel hungry, unsettled, wet or uncomfortable, or just because they need a cuddle. And sometimes your baby will cry for no obvious reason.
Babies are born with very different temperaments. Some are relaxed and easygoing, and others seem to be more intense. Some seem to move constantly, and others are quieter. Some are cheerful most of the time, and others are more serious.
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Know When To Seek Help
If you constantly feel overwhelmed and the feeling doesn’t go away, you probably need some outside help. Additionally, if you are feeling like you can’t pick up on your baby’s cues or your baby isn’t alert enough to engage in the early milestone behaviors, it is important to seek help as soon as possible. Problems that are identified early can almost always be solved.