Tori Kropp, RN / Baby Care Basics


All babies cry, it's how they communicate. If, however, he continues to wail even after all his basic needs are being met, don't take it personally. But do try to console him with one of these calming tactics.

- Encourage your baby to suck on his fingers, your fingers, or a pacifier.

- Hold your baby close with her ear to your chest, so she can hear your heartbeat.

- Remove unnecessary stimuli – dim the lights, turn off the television and keep visitors to a minimum.

- Try a little motion. Rock her in your arms, or let her sway in an infant swing. If you're really desperate, you might even try putting her in her car seat and going for a drive. Other soothing tactics: Slip her into a sling or front pack and go for a walk. A ride in the stroller may also do the trick.

- Gently massage his abdomen, or lay him across your knees, tummy-side down, and rub his back.

- Sing her a lullaby or play soft music. Or better yet: try white noise, such as the far off sound of a hair dryer, washing machine, or vacuum cleaner. If your baby likes it -- and you'd be surprised how many do – tape-record these sounds so you can play them continuously without wearing out your appliances!

- Create a secure feeling by swaddling him in a soft receiving blanket.

- If all these strategies fail, your baby may simply be overtired. Put her down in a crib or bassinet. After a few minutes of fussing, she may just conk out on her own.

- For babies with colic or inconsolable crying that intensifies or persists throughout the day, you'll also want to consult your pediatrician to rule out any medical problems. Also, if you're breastfeeding, try eliminating strong foods such as caffeine, onions, cabbage and any other irritating foods from your diet. Bottle-fed babies may benefit from switching formulas. However, it's best to consult a doctor before choosing a new product