5 Easy Ways to Soothe a Crying Baby

February 18, 2022

How to soothe and calm your crying baby

Babies can cry for any number of reasons. Sometimes calming them down is easy. Sometimes you can identify the problem; they are hungry, they have a dirty diaper, they are unwell. Solve the problem; burp them, feed them, change them, or just cuddle them and they settle immediately.

Other times it can be much more difficult to determine what is going on. You can check all of the obvious things and when none of them check out you might be at a loss as to what to do.

This can be particularly true when your baby is being inconsolable. However, here are some tried and trusted methods that tell you how to calm a crying baby.

5 ways to soothe a crying baby

1) Do the shoosh-bounce

Put your infant into a carrier and get right into their ear and keep shooshing them over and over whilst gently rocking or bouncing them. You can do this anywhere and keep on doing it until they settle. Studies show that the rocking triggers a response in the baby’s brain that causes them to relax and slow their heart rate.

2) Play some music

Playing music to a baby has the potential to decrease their respiratory rate and slow the heart rate as well thus helping them to settle. It also doesn’t have to be lullabies either. Babies will response to all different types of music.

So, it could be a bit of country or even some Def Leppard. The point is to change the environment and expose them to something different. It is even better if you can sing along to it, even if you are no Beyoncé. The sound of a familiar voice in combination with the music will enhance the effect.

3) Play back their fuss

You would be surprised but recording your baby making a fuss and then playing it back to them can cause them to stop fussing almost immediately. This is because sometimes they get so distracted by a problem, they get locked into a cycle of crying that they cannot break. Even if the cause of the fuss is taken away. Hearing a baby cry, even if it is will distract them and break the cycle.

4) Blackout the room

Sometimes the cause of the fuss can be overstimulation. So, a simple way to stop a crying infant is to plunge the room into darkness. Drawdown blackout curtains put them in a swing with a pacifier and let the lack of stimuli drop them into relaxing

5) Change the scene

It could be that the fussing will just continue and that is causing you to stress out as well. The baby is sensing it and that is causing the fuss to continue. Changing the scene by either going out, or maybe even giving the baby to the grandparents for an hour or so, will give you a break to relax and cause the baby to settle as well.

Sandra McNeil, PhD.

Sandra McNeil, PhD.

Sandra has over 13 years of experience as a child psychologist, both as a practitioner and researcher. She has a Bachelor's in child psychology from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and then she did her master's in Psychology in Education (focused on Children & Families) at Columbia University, NY. She has been writing for health and child-related publications for over 5 years now.

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