One thing that’s true of all babies, especially newborns: they cry for everything. Crying is your baby’s way of expressing his or her needs. Before a newborn baby can talk, crying is the only way they have to communicate distress. Still, while crying a reasonable amount won’t hurt your newborn, constant fussing can leave both new babies and new parents feeling stressed and frayed — even if you’re a new parent for a second time. No two babies are alike, and you may need to readjust and re-learn your soothing, communication, and care skills all over again when your second or third child comes along.
If all of your newborn’s basic needs are met, he or she might need attention, stimulation, or comfort. By paying attention to your baby’s responses, you can quickly learn about the best ways to respond to fussiness or extended crying.
When it seems like your baby just won’t stop crying, fall back on these helpful tips and tricks from Dr. Soos Pediatrics. Gyula Soos, MD, FAAP has years of expertise with pediatrics and newborn care and can provide nonjudgemental, compassionate advice and support as your family adjusts to the changes that come with a newborn.
1. Check on physical needs
Your newborn might be trying to communicate with crying, letting you know about their needs. As you get to know your unique baby, you'll learn how to distinguish between his or her sounds indicating hunger, pain, surprise, and emotional distress. When you’re just getting started with a new baby, though, it might take some patience and experimentation.
If your baby is crying, you should first check:
- Does the baby need to eat?
- Is your baby overtired?
- Does your baby need a diaper change?
- Is your baby too warm or too cold?
If any of these things are the source of the problem, your baby should settle once his or her needs have been met.
2. Provide comfort
Very small babies take comfort from a gentle, supportive physical touch. Here are some ways you can cuddle or physically support your crying newborn:
- Try swaddling, wrapping your baby securely in the folds of a warm receiving blanket
- Sit down for a snuggle in a rocking chair
- Use gentle touching and massage on your baby’s chest, back, hands, feet, arms, and legs
3. Create a soothing atmosphere
Newborn babies get overstimulated easily, so use gentle stimuli to soothe your baby’s 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.
4. Try distraction
Your baby might also enjoy a pleasant distraction, like a song, a warm bath, or a walk. Babies can get bored just as easily as adults can, and benefit from a variety of age-appropriate activities and sensory stimulation. Wearing your baby in a carrier or sling close to the sound of your heartbeat is one good way to create a soothing atmosphere during a walk.
5. Seek support for parent and child
Life with a newborn can be challenging, so don’t worry too much if your baby cries. If your baby is safe, warm, and well-fed, it’s okay to let him or her cry themselves out sometimes. If your baby has colic, you may find evenings especially challenging.
Make sure that you are getting the support you need, too. Reach out for support from trusted family and friends. Dr. Soos is available to help you with the concerns that come with a new baby, from crying to colic. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Soos, contact his Dublin, Georgia offices over the phone, or use the online tool to book.