How to soothe a baby
Sleepless nights are a part of a parent's job description, but wouldn't it be nice to know a few tips that could settle your baby down a little faster, if not completely?
That's where “The Baby Book” (DK Publishing, $40) can help. Here are the book's top six methods for calming your baby:
Declutter her mind: When your baby becomes overly tired, she can find it difficult to fall asleep. Hold her facing a blank wall to block distractions, or hold a burp cloth in front of her carriage or car seat.
Offer soothing words: Talk quietly to her, using a low, calm voice. “Shh…shh … shh” echoes the sounds she would have heard in the uterus. If she is lying down, stroke her in time with your soothing words.
Sucking for comfort: A newborn's need to suck is strong, and your breast, finger or a pacifier can offer comfort. This deep comfort-sucking steadies your baby's heart rate and relaxes her stomach muscles.
Get moving: Gentle rocking can work wonders, as its steady motion reminds her of being in the uterus. Try walking around as you rock her, sit together in a rocking chair or rock her in a gentle bouncy chair. The motion of being in the carriage, front carrier or car can calm a baby and send her to sleep.
Hold her close: Your baby is soothed by you, so start by picking her up and holding her close to you. She will feel your heartbeat, warmth and strong, comforting presence. Gently rub her back or tummy in a soft, rhythmic motion. Putting your baby down in her bassinet or crib could be the answer, too, especially if she is tired or overstimulated from lots of holding and attention.
Rhythmic relaxation: In the uterus, your baby could hear the beat of your heart and the gurgle of your stomach, and being held close to you reminds her of that.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.