The sound of your baby crying can be heartbreaking, but there are effective strategies to soothe him or her. Most of the time, crying is your baby’s way of telling you that he or she needs something. Occasionally, crying can indicate a medical problem that requires the attention of an emergency pediatrician. Call the doctor if your baby has an unusually weak or high-pitched cry, or if he or she can’t be calmed down with the usual methods. Similarly, your baby needs urgent care if he or she doesn’t cry at all, is inactive, and is difficult to wake up.
Address Your Baby’s Needs
When your baby cries, the first step to take is to see if he or she is hungry, has a wet diaper, or is too hot or too cold. Sometimes, babies cry when they’re frustrated, such as when they’re tired of being in a car seat or are overstimulated by the environment. It’s also possible that your baby just needs a good nap. If you’ve addressed these needs and your baby is still crying, try some soothing techniques.
Mimic the Womb Environment
Recreating the womb environment can be incredibly effective for calming down a crying baby. If you know how to safely swaddle your baby, do so. Hold him or her close to you and provide rhythmic motions, such as by rocking back and forth. Make soft shushing noises or turn on something that generates white noise like a fan.
Offer a Comforting Touch
Long, smooth strokes comfort crying babies. Give your baby a gentle massage regularly, such as during diaper changes, to encourage overall happiness. A fussy baby may enjoy being snuggled in a front carrier.
Offer a Pacifier
Pacifiers are the strategy of choice for lots of parents. Not all babies like pacifiers, but many are readily soothed by them. Talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns about the effect of pacifiers on your baby’s oral health or other areas of development.
Here at Pediatrics After Hours, we understand that urgent medical problems are stressful for children and parents alike. Our emergency pediatricians in the DFW area are experts at providing soothing, compassionate care within our comfortable treatment areas.