It can be hard to determine what a baby needs because one of their only form of communication is crying. Crying babies can make moms feel as though their baby needs medical help, but the only thing babies know how to do is complain via this wailing. Often, mothers can decipher between certain types of cries that come from their children. They can tell when a changing or a feeding is needed based upon specific crying cues.
But there are times when children cry for none of these reasons. They may not be feeling well and need comfort but do not necessarily need medical attention at all.
The following is a list of ways to comfort a baby when bringing him or her to the hospital isn't warranted. Although it may seem like there is nothing you can do to soothe them, here are at a handful of things to try before seeking out help from the doctor. Keep in mind that if there seems to be something wrong, it is essential to bring the child in to be checked out. If it sounds like something minor, however, it probably can be fixed with something on this list—or at least attempted.
20 Snuggles With Mom Or Dad
Babies are in the womb for nine months. During this time, the most prominent voice they hear is their mother's and her hands on her belly.
When little ones come barreling out, a mother's sound and touch can instantly calm them down. Depending on which parent ends up being the primary caregiver—whether Mom or Dad stays at home when the baby is upset—the parent they are closest to will usually have an easier time calming them down.
Cuddles are the easiest way to do this. Making a baby feel safe and secure is accomplished by holding them tight and just letting them know you are there. According to Parents, snuggling is vital to calming your little one down.
19 Swaddle Me Tight!
When babies are first born, they are often wrapped tight in a blanket—also known as a swaddle. Babies are so used to being in the womb from the last nine months, and it can be a shock to come into this vast, cold place rather than the small, warm space that enveloped them.
Swaddling a baby helps emulate the feeling they had while in the womb which helps to soothe them to sleep. Swaddled babies frequently sleep longer and much more peacefully.
They sleep well—according to Baby Center—because their reflexes aren’t reacting to every single sound—thereby helping them to sleep much longer.
18 Skin To Skin For The Win
The practice of skin to skin is used almost immediately after birth in many hospitals. Moms usually disrobe and the sweet baby is placed directly on the mother's bare chest, but dads can take part in this, too.
This particular practice is used to start an immediate bonding experience between mother and baby. According to, Baby Gooroo, skin to skin has other benefits such as improving heart and lung function, stabilizing body temperature and boosting mom's milk supply.
The most significant aspect here is the bonding process because it allows infants to kick off a relationship with their mother or father that will only grow stronger as time goes on.
This bond will also give parents the ability to comfort their children when needed as well.
17 Breastfeeding Really Is Best
Not only does breastfeeding provide nourishment, but it is another way a baby has time to bond with their mother. Some mothers breastfeed for just a few months while others commit for a few years.
According to Today’s Parent, there are times when your baby will beg for the breast in so many ways but not because they are hungry, because they want a source of comfort.
Not only are there comfort aspects to this type of feeding, but there are other benefits too—such as an overall stronger baby, more protection from sickness, and so forth. The downside here is this method can only be used by mothers. Sorry, dads!
16 Cold Teether To Soothe
Newborn babies are born without teeth. According to Orajel, —babies start to grow teeth as early as three months old.
Cutting a tooth is as painful as it sounds. New teeth are cutting through the gums of little ones slowly and almost all at once—or at least one after another.
There isn’t any relief until all of the teeth have broken through. For this reason, manufacturers like Nuby provide silicone products perfect for little hands to hold and chew on—providing them relief from their impending teeth.
The best thing to do is to put these teethers in the fridge so they add a chill factor to those swollen gums.
15 Pacifier To Pass The Time
Similar to teethers, babies find comfort in having something to do with their mouths at young ages.
They are too young to be mobile, so the mouth is the first area of stimulation which provides them with not only nourishment but pleasure, according to Sigmund Freud as reported by Verywell Mind.
Pacifiers help them pass the time, and it entertains them simultaneously. This is where pacifiers come in handy, although they are not suitable for long time use. This is because they can cause teeth to grow in crooked if used for too long.
For younger littles, pacifiers or “binkies” can help some babies to relax—especially if they are not breastfed and don't have Mom to rely on for that comfort.
14 Stimulate With Soft Rubbing
Newborn babies are just that—new. Because of this, there are some functions of the body that maybe do not work as well as others. Mothers sometimes find that their little ones are constipated, which could cause a great deal of pain if not cleared up in a short amount of time.
Massaging can help with constipation if done in the right area. Belly and leg massages can stimulate bowel movements pretty quickly.
Another form of massage used on babies is continuously bringing their knees up to their chests and holding them there. That technique is also used to help relive little ones of gas.
13 Lets Play A Game!
Games are very stimulating, and sometimes babies are crying because they are bored. Little ones are not mobile at such a young age, and so it is typical for them to become bored—or unstimulated—which can lead to crying for attention and something to do.
The solution to boredom or overstimulation is to get small games perfect for little hands. Pathways provides a list of great activities that allow parents to stimulate their little ones and bond with them.
These can be things like tickling your baby to make them giggle or touching different areas of the baby’s body and saying the name of that body part out loud.
12 Mom's Voice Works Best
A mom’s voice is incredibly soothing to a newborn because it is the primary voice they here for the first nine months of their lives.
When little ones are upset, something as easy as hearing a mother's voice can calm them.
If your baby shows signs of being soothed by your sound; when they are upset, pick up a book and spend time reading to them. Not only will this make them feel better because they are hearing your familiar voice, but they will also be learning while listening to you read. There is always time for reading, and it will benefit your baby in the long run.
11 Adventurous Car Rides
Fussy babies often benefit from short car rides to help calm them down but sometimes even enough to fall asleep.
According to a forum on Reddit, when a baby is in a car seat in the back of a car, it can remind them of being in the womb.
It feels like the womb to them because they are tight in their car seats, and the sounds and movements of the car directly emulate their time in Mom's belly. Not only are they soothed while in the car, but they feel safe as well. Babies are not that complex; it is just a matter of finding what works.
10 iTunes To Be Tuned Into Baby
Some moms make it appoint to play music on their bellies when they are with child. Nobody knows whether or not playing music for a fetus is helpful in any way, according to BabyCenter, but there have been cases in which a mom plays music on or near her belly, and the baby becomes active.
If they heard a lot of music while in the womb, playing music when they are cranky may do the trick. The sound of music is a form of stimulation to the ears, so playing some tunes is good to try when a baby needs some soothing.
9 Would You Feed That To Your Baby?
For breastfeeding mothers, everything they eat or drink ends up in the milk that their baby is using for nourishment. Therefore, if a mother is eating poorly, so is the newborn.
Babies are brand new, and their stomachs may not be able to handle some of the solids and spices that ours can.
So, if a baby seems to be constipated or appears to be having other digestive problems, it might be a good idea to watch the kind of foods you are eating because—according to KellyMom—some of it could be irritating or not agreeing with your baby’s tummy.
8 Like A Cool Breeze
Depending on what kind of neighborhood you live in, fresh air is an excellent calming factor. Often, babies are kept inside by parents who are scared that their baby is going to catch a cold or other illness from being outside.
According to WebMD—as long as your baby is healthy—it is perfectly okay and reasonable for them to be outdoors. In fact, exposure to some of their environment is what will help to build their budding immune system.
Venturing outside will give your little one a sense of exploration. As babies, they are inside almost all the time. They will be able to see and hear things like birds chirping that they probably wouldn’t inside. They can get their imagination going outside.
7 Swinging To Soothe Versus Swinging To Sleep
Baby swings are extremely popular these days. Often, mothers have to run after more than one child and to hang onto a screaming baby at the same time can be hard. Many swings gently rock a baby forward and backward or side to side to soothe them.
The problem—according to Care.com—is that some mothers put their little ones for a nap in swings. Thus, sometimes babies might associate the swing with sleeping.
If the infant understands that the swing is just for fun, they might be more apt to enjoy themselves and become calmer when placed in it. But more so, swings aren't actually meant for sleeping as they can compromise baby's airway, which can be fatal.
6 Favorite Stuffy To The Rescue!
Many people have their favorite stuffed animals or blankets that they cannot live without when they are babies. And many still have them years later when they are older.
Children can sometimes have attachment issues, and stuffies or blankets are objects that they can always have with them—things that won't be taken.
Fatherly suggests objects like Whisbear the Humming Bear. The stuffed animals from this line are made for babies; they hum and make noises, and are very soft and comfortable for a baby to cuddle. If there is a time Mom can’t come right away, the baby might feel comfort snuggling their stuffy.
5 A Little Dry In Here
Particularly during the summer, humidifiers can be perfect to calm a baby down and help them stay asleep. There is a lot of warm, dry air during the summer which can sometimes make it hard to breathe—thereby making it hard for a little one to sleep soundly.
The humidifier will make the air easier to breathe—especially for infants who tend to get sick more frequently. Many babies have a hard time sleeping because of hot or dry air in all seasons, which means they can get sick more easily, or won’t get enough sleep which can make them extra cranky.
According to Compact Appliance, sleeping patterns might change drastically with a humidifier.
4 It's Tubby Time
There is nothing more soothing than taking a bath. The feeling of floating in warm water while someone bathes you—and just being able to relax—has a remarkably calming effect.
If your little one is having a rough day, or they are fussy, sick or just genuinely not happy, a warm bath could very well do the trick. As reported by Baby Club, it is best to follow specific steps including running cold water before hot so as not to burn your baby.
It might be best to make bath time a particular time each day. If they are clean and calm, sleeping will be a lot easier.
3 Nothing Like Peace And Quiet
Family homes can sometimes be hectic, especially if multiple kids are running around. Having a lot of children running around willy-nilly can be very overwhelming for a small child, thereby leading them to be fussy or cry more.
If a mother is needing to calm her baby down, it might be best if she can send the other kids outside to play for a few hours or have a babysitter or Dad take them out for a while.
Being in a quiet environment will give Mom time to bond with her baby, and turns a hectic home into a peaceful one long enough for the baby to relax.
2 Not Too Hot, Not Too Cold
Newborn babies can be sensitive to whether or not it’s cold or hot out. Most of the time, they like to be warm and cozy wrapped up either in a sleeper or a swaddle, because that is close to what their home was like while in the womb.
But there can be a lot of fussiness when it comes to different seasons because if they become too hot or too cold, not only will they be fussy but they might have a hard time sleeping at night and during naps.
Controlling the temperature in your child's room is essential to keeping them happy, but it's also important for safety as the risk of SIDS climbs if the temperature isn't well-regulated.
1 A Full Tummy Makes Baby Happy
Last but not least, ensuring that your baby has a full tummy is essential. Not only will it make them feel better, but their fussiness will also be remarkably lower—and they’ll sleep better as a result.
According to the New YorkNY Times, parents should not use foods as the first go-to source when their child is cranky. It is important to note, however, that sometimes they will become unsettled if they are hungry.
We don’t want children to think that every time they are upset they are going to get food. It is essential to pay attention to their eating habits and hunger cues to determine when they actually need to eat and when they do not.
References: Baby Center, Parents, Baby Gooroo, Today's Parent, Orajel, Verywell Mind, Pathways, Reddit, KellyMom, WebMD, Care, Fatherly, Compact Appliance, Baby Club, New York Times