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5 Simple soothing techniques for fussy babies

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Calming Baby fast

Have you ever experienced a fussy baby? It's really tough, especially if your efforts to curb the fuss aren't working. Frankly, whether Baby is crying or whining, fussiness can be heart-wrenching and mind-numbing — all at once. You want your child to be OK, but it can also tear at your psyche a little. Don't worry. Fussy babies will be OK, and so will you — especially if you employ one of these five fabulous soothing techniques for fuss points.

Swaddled baby girl

First things first: Get yourself together. ”Before trying any of these tips, the mom or dad must be in a calm frame of mind. If you are not, take some moments to get yourself there: Deep breaths, a little meditation, some self-talk, a hot cup of tea... ” says author and therapist Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill, Ed.S., LMFT.

”If you are stressed or your thoughts are elsewhere, you will have trouble soothing your fussy baby. It is important to be in the moment and to relax with your child,” O’Neill says.

Now that you’re calm and collected, try the following:

1

Swaddling

There is a reason that swaddling blankets are so popular and hospital nurses love doing it with a standard receiving blanket: Swaddling works. It makes a baby feel safe, warm and loved. And that can totally counteract a moment of fussiness.

Not sure how to swaddle on your own? Yes, it’s tricky, but these days there are so many simple options for easy swaddling like The Miracle Blanket ($24.95, babiesrus.com).

2

Swaying

Whether it’s in a rocking chair or walking nestled in your arms, swaying and rocking is a time-tested solution for soothing babies to sleep. The simple, easy motion is comforting to Baby who experienced something similar in the womb. Experts say that any kind of swaying works. ”All kinds of rocking [work]: Swing, rocking chair, cradle, etc.,” says O’Neill.

3

Soft music

Sure, ”Call Me Maybe” might make your baby giggle during the daytime, but at night you want her to close those little eyes. Instead, put on something light, soft and soothing to help her fall asleep. Stock your iTunes player with a set of lullabies for these very moments.

4

A bouncy walk

When my younger brother was an infant, he would cry every night at 7 p.m. The one thing that soothed him was the bouncy walk — a method of carrying a baby that puts him in a melodic rhythm that makes him want to close his eyes.

Simply hold the baby close and walk with a bounce in your step (up on your toes works best!) until the baby calms down, or better yet, falls completely asleep.

Don’t want to walk? One mom said that when her legs got tired, she used another method. ”A slow bend in the knees worked well until my knees couldn’t take it anymore, so I had an exercise ball that I sat on and bounced up and down. It was the perfect solution,” she says.

5

A darkened room

It might seem a little cliche, but if you want to soothe your baby, dimming the light can help a ton. While a brightly lit room will stimulate their senses, a dimmed one will be less distracting, helping to lull your baby into a calm and peaceful sleep.

More soothing tips

What does your baby's cry mean?

Shay Pausa speaks with author Blythe Lipman on how to interpret your baby’s cry.

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