It’s always good to have at least a couple no-cry hacks up your sleeve if your bubs is in need of soothing—here’s 14 tried-and-tested ones to keep you covered and dry the tears pronto.
• Rub your baby’s forehead gently, focusing between her eyes. Keep the motion slow and light. The sensation is incredibly relaxing—you might even find your little one conks out.
• Gently rock while walking around a room, slowly. The movement mimics being inside the womb and being buoyed by the amniotic fluid.
• Lightly and rhythmically tap on your baby’s bottom and back. Some say this reminds little ones of hearing Mum’s heartbeat in-utero.
• Tone down the sensory input. If it’s loud or busy and your baby is crying, chances are she needs you to help her escape the chaos. Find a dark, quiet place to chill out together.
• Sometimes Dad’s sonorous baritone and extra body warmth can be supremely soothing to bubs. Hand over your baby to let him work his magic (or at least give you a five minute break!).
• Employ Occam’s Razor: sometimes the simplest solution is the solution. The primary reasons babies cry are hunger or tiredness. Feed, cuddle, and swaddle her close.
• As above, keeping your babe close is their prime comfort spot. Being put down on a cool, still, and firm surface can be extremely disconcerting, and will more often than not elicit the waterworks.
• Place a piece of your clothing close to your baby’s sleep space (but not inside it) your mama smell is infinitely comforting.
• Just as with grownups, sometimes babies just need to get out. Fresh air is great to relax the mind, and get your baby ready to drift off.
• Baby massage instructor Helen Redfern suggests a good ol’ foot rub: “Cradle your baby’s foot in one hand and rotate the thumb of your other hand in an anti-clockwise spiral in the centre of your baby’s sole. Try running your thumb from big toe to heel several times. This is reassuring, settling and great for overtiredness.”
• Check the room temperature. Babies cannot regulate their own body temperature, so they’re especially sensitive to too warm or too cool surrounds. A constant temperature of 18°C to 20C is most preferable.
• Distraction. Don’t dump out the entire toy tub, but pick out a rattle or tactile and bright plaything to try distract your bubs from tears.
• Skin-to-skin contact releases a surge of feel-good hormones oxytocin and prolactin to help soothe baby.
• Keep calm. Your little one is attuned to your emotional state, so try to work on your own stress level in the moment to help bring down your baby’s.