You've changed the diaper, offered a bottle, tried a pacifier, and cradled her in your arms but she still won't stop crying! What's a mother to do? Why is she crying? What does she want? Fear and helplessness overwhelm you as you try to find the magical cure to stop her incessant crying.
Babies cry for a number of reasons and trying to figure out why is no easy task. It's important to understand though, that your newborn came from a womb rich with noises and sensations that gently comforted her for nine months. Now your baby finds herself in a cold, empty crib with no comforting, sensory information to keep her warm and lull her to sleep. She becomes restless and frustrated at not being able to go to sleep and cries out in distress.
Barring health issues such as colic and other disorders requiring medical attention, creating an environment in which your baby can feel comfortable and go to sleep takes a little ingenuity and creativity along with a lot of loving patience. Finding what soothes your child to sleep may take a lot of trial and error but eventually you will find what works.
For starters, you need to create a calming environment for your infant. Turn off the lights or at least dim them. No one likes to sleep with a light shining in their eyes. Limit the amount of toys in the crib and moving distractions like mobiles or crib lights. These often stimulate the child rather than create a sleepy hypnotic effect.
Since newborns are used to the noisy, rhythmic sounds of the mother's womb, often times creating some gentle “white noise" will comfort your infant and eventually lull her to sleep. Many stores carry CDs with nature sounds and the like, that would be perfect for this. Gentle, peaceful music also may work. Believe it or not, but sometimes even running the vacuum cleaner will help settle your baby down.
Holding, cradling, and massaging your baby always has a positive effect. Never underestimate the human touch! Your infant will feel secure and loved. And everyone loves a good massage! Gently stroke or rub her arms and legs. Another effective technique can be utilizing skin to skin contact. Laying your naked baby on your bare stomach or chest creates a soothing bond of warmth. Giving your baby a warm bath or holding her while you relax in a warm tub might be all it takes to calm her down and stop the crying.
Take your baby for a walk. A change of scenery may be all she needs to calm her down. Carry her in your arms as you walk around the house, or better yet, get some exercise and take walk down the block. A short road trip and the hum of a car engine might also do the trick if nothing else seems to work. There's a good chance she'll be all tuckered out by the time you get home and ready for a good night's sleep.
Whatever you do, you need to remain calm and be patient. If you become distressed your infant will sense it and it will only escalate her level of distress. Finding the right solution may take time but eventually you will find it.
Gunawan Harinanto is a Happy Dad with one handsome boy, and webmaster of Baby First Year site. Please visit his site and get many free parenting and babies Tips. You may republish this article on your website or blog by providing credit to the author and providing a live link to BabyFirstYear.org Site.