If you’ve found yourself soothing your baby by vacuuming in the dark, taking a car ride at 2 a.m. or singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” a cappella, then you’re not alone. Parents are apt to try out-of-the-ordinary remedies for a moment of silence when their babies become fussy.
Babies’ cries tell you a lot about their moods, whether they’re tired, uncomfortable, or hungry. It’s best to try and figure out why baby is fussy and sometimes the best approach is trial and error.
Here’s our quick trial & error checklist:
- See if baby is hungry by trying to feed him/her. The feeling of being hungry can come as a strange and unusual feeling for babies. Try a few different ways of feeding baby, depending on what stage they’re in, whether breastfed, formula/bottle fed, or with solid foods.
- Check the diaper. This one might sound obvious, but it’s always on the top of the checklist- maybe he/she needs a change or maybe it’s on a little too tight.
- If baby has recently been fed, try burping him/her. Reflux is a common problem in newborn babies causing the baby’s previous meal to come back up through the esophagus. If this is the case, consider giving baby smaller feedings and burpings in between.
- Swaddle the baby to relax them. Sometimes swaddling and lightly swinging can help soothe baby and take them back to that comfortable feeling of being in the womb. This can help distract from discomfort or lead them into a restful sleep.
- Check the gums for incoming teeth. Maybe there’s a new tooth coming in that’s extra painful. It might be time to pull out the teething gel or try giving baby a chilled teething ring. Teething or not, sometimes a pacifier can help keep baby busy as well.
- Try giving a baby massage and keep a close eye if there is any changes in mood with certain strokes.
- Dependent on the weather- try heading outside. Sometimes interesting sounds, sites, and textures can interest the baby and help distract them from being fussy.
Just remember that babies can get fussy sometimes and we might not be able to figure out why right away every time. Don’t be too hard on yourself and know that there are so many precious moments that outweigh the tough ones.