After feeding and diapering duties, soothing your little one can seem like it takes up the bulk of your day especially during the night. Crying and babies are co-related, of course, since kicking up a fuss is the only communication skill your newborn knows.
My son frank was a screamer. He cried for what seemed like the first six months of his life. He screamed when he was hungry, wet, tired, or bored. I tried everything possible to soothe him with nursing, diaper changes, and hugs all to no avail.
Sadly, I’d end up disappointed, feeling overwhelmed and, the worse feeling is, I felt like I was failing at a basic task of motherhood, but thankfully I found the right trick that worked for me.
In this article, I’ll be sharing with you different tricks on how to stop baby crying at night, common reasons why babies cry, and when to see a doctor about your baby’s crying.
Why Do Babies Cry?
It can be difficult when your baby is crying repeatedly. You may worry that something is wrong with your child, or did something wrong which might make you want to question your parenting skills, or that you’ll never connect with your baby. But you can handle it!
Babies cry for several reasons, and crying is the main means by which they get your attention and express their needs. It may be difficult to interpret your baby’s different cries at first, but as you spend more time with him listening, you will become a pro at recognizing and meeting your child’s specific needs.
Common Reasons Why Babies Cry
- Sleepiness or fatigue
- Wet or dirty diaper
- Overstimulation from noise or activity
- Colic, acid reflux, or food allergies
- Pain or illness
- Stranger anxiety or fear
12 Proven Tips On How To Stop Baby Crying At Night
Once you’ve ruled out some of the basic reasons that could make your baby cry (empty tummy, wet diaper, overdue nap) and your pediatrician doesn’t think she’s sick, try to put these tricks to work to help clear your tears and make you both feel better.
1. Offer A Swaddle
This snug wrap in a receiving blanket keeps your baby feeling secure. Most experienced moms think swaddling soothes babies because it creates a cozy, womb-like feeling. Likewise, this helps your baby settle down faster and sleep longer.
2. Encourage Sucking
Babies usually soothe themselves with nonnutritive sucking, which doesn’t fill their belly but does calm their nerves. When your baby begins to cry, help him find his thumb, fist, or finger, or simply offer one of your fingers.
Using a pacifier can do the trick, but consider waiting until breastfeeding is well established before introducing it to him.
Read Also: How To Keep Pacifier In Newborn Mouth
3. Try A Front Sling Or Carrier
Wearing your baby and walking around with him is another way to soothe him. Babies love the feeling of closure and the rhythm of your steps. A carrier is also convenient since your hands remain free for multiple tasks.
Have your baby face your body in a front-pack carrier or a sling for the first 3 months when he needs the extra head support. You can also use a sling, particularly useful for on-the-go nursing, and can convert to a side or back hold when your little one gets older.
4. Play It Back
A surprising distraction like a recording of their voice when they’re crying can do the trick. I use to apply this trick when my son was a baby. I would record him fussing and crying on my phone and let them listen to it.
After I played it for him, he was fascinated by the sound of a crying baby. Babies are so interested in the world around them that a simple introduction of something new can help break that cycle of crying.
5. Rock Or Sway
While you’re sitting hold your baby in a rocking chair or glider, or place her in a motorized baby swing or vibrating bouncy seat. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s safety instructions regarding the age and weight restrictions for these devices.
6. Turn On The White Noise
Some babies can stop crying while listening to rhythmic whooshing sounds, which may remind them of the womb. You can try using a vacuum cleaner, hairdryer, or fan to achieve this. You also can invest in a white-noise machine or try shushing your baby with “Shhhh…shhh” noise.
7. Go Outside
A change of environment or scene might be what your baby needs to calm right down. The light, air, and temperature, plus new sights, sounds, and smells will improve everyone’s mood.
8. Try Sing A Song
This is another trick that works like magic. You don’t have to be pro, since your baby has no idea whether you sing off-key or with perfect pitch. What he does know is that you’re showering her with song and affection. The next time he’s cranky, sing a classic lullaby or whatever song you like.
Massaging your baby can be helpful for both of you, and it’s a great way to calm your baby from crying. You can try this with lotion or special baby massage oils, though neither is necessary. A gentle touch that’s firm but not ticklish can do the trick.
10. Get Wet
If your baby tends to mellow out during bath hour, fill up the tub with warm water, and make it a regular part of his calming routine.
11. Try Colic Carry
When your baby is crying inconsolably, try applying some pressure on her tummy or what’s known as the “colic carry” to help relieve gas and colic. To do this, lay your baby on his tummy on your forearm, cradling his head in your hand, and use your other hand to stabilize him and rub his back.
Alternatively, lay him on his back and gently “bicycle pump” his knees up to his tummy for 10 seconds, then release and repeat the process.
12. Be Entertaining
Babies can get bored and when they do, it can make them uncomfortable and cause fussy. To keep your baby entertained, try detailing your actions with silly noises and animated expressions.
You can also play with him on the floor and show him how toys works, read a rhyming board book or turn on some sounds and dance.
How To Know If My Baby’s Fussiness Is Normal?
Crying is completely normal for a baby. It is expected to hear 2 or 3 hours of fussing a day during the first 6 weeks of your newborn’s life. Having known this, the next step is figuring out if the cries you hear are run-of-the-mill cues (hunger, fatigue, dirty diaper), and this takes time and practice just don’t give up.
Once you’ve mastered what each type of cry sounds like, you’ll know that the fussing you hear is likely normal and nothing to worry about. More intense wailing or screaming repeatedly, however, may indicate an unusual level of crying that could be colic.
If that is the case, contact your pediatrician. Your baby may need to be evaluated to make sure there isn’t a medical cause. If the doctor suspects colic, they can recommend what you can do to help.
However, in a situation where your baby’s cry sounds weak or comes across like soft whimpering could mean your baby is sick and can’t muster the energy to cry loudly. Consult the pediatrician immediately so you can describe the symptoms and learn how best to treat any illness he may have.
Read Also: How To Prevent Diaper Blowouts
Colic Vs “Normal Crying”
In a situation where a baby cries for more than three hours a day for more than three days a week for three weeks, he or she may have colic, and this affects one in five babies.
Another sign of colic is crying which sounds more like screaming that usually occurs in the later afternoon or evening for hours at a time. Ask your doctor if you’re unsure whether or not his/her crying is considered excessive.
However, there’s no real definition of normal crying, it tends to be the type of tears that you are used to and can quickly quell.
For example, a rhythmic, low-pitched cry along with sucking or lip-smacking sounds could indicate hunger, while a whiny, continuous cry that grows increasingly louder might mean that your baby is overwhelmed or restless.
I hope this article “How To Stop Baby Crying At Night” was helpful? If you’ve tried every trick above and you just can’t seem to figure out what’s causing all the tears, it is best advised to consult your baby’s pediatrician is perfectly fine.
Sometimes it helps to hear from a professional that you’re doing all the right things and just need to be patient for a little while longer.