What's the best way to soothe a crying baby? Newborn Care

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mom holding and soothing baby
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It can be frustrating when baby just doesn't seem to stop wailing. Whether your baby's colicky or just needs to settle down for naptime, here are some expert- and mom-approved tips and tricks for calming the cries.

Try the "5 S's" 

"To soothe a crying baby, I recommend trying the 5 S’s: Swaddle, Side or Stomach position, Shushing, Swinging and Sucking (on pacifier, finger or breast). The book Happiest Baby on the Block is a great reference for these techniques. And remember, a well-fed baby with a clean diaper may still cry, which is completely normal. Just take deep breaths and the 5 S’s can help tremendously!" -- Vanita Jindal, MD, Pediatrician at Stanford Children's Health, Peninsula Pediatric Medical Group in...

"To soothe a crying baby, I recommend trying the 5 S’s: Swaddle, Side or Stomach position, Shushing, Swinging and Sucking (on pacifier, finger or breast). The book Happiest Baby on the Block is a great reference for these techniques. And remember, a well-fed baby with a clean diaper may still cry, which is completely normal. Just take deep breaths and the 5 S’s can help tremendously!" -- Vanita Jindal, MD, Pediatrician at Stanford Children's Health, Peninsula Pediatric Medical Group in San Mateo.

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Get to the Root of the Problem

"That need varies depending on the situation. Some babies cry because they're hungry, or they have a wet diaper, or they are tired, or something is bothering them. The best method of soothing a crying baby usually begins with holding them, shushing them, or rocking them. There is also an important factor, and that is for the parent or adult who is tending to the baby to be calm and speak in quiet tones, since the baby may take cues from the adult." -- Danelle Fisher, MD, chair of pediatrics, Providence Saint John's Health Center, Santa Monica, CA

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Don't Rule Out Teething

"It might be teething pain. Put a pacifier in the refrigerator for five to eight minutes before giving it to your baby. The coolness will help reduce the inflammation from teething." -- Jackie Romanies, DC, Dr. Matt's Wellness Center, Plano, TX

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Try Babywearing

"I spent the better part of most days babywearing to calm my 3-month-old down until she slowly became more interactive and was able to play -- or at least look at toys I held in front of her."

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Play Soothing Noises

"Try using a sound machine or an app that lets you play soothing sounds. White noise mimics the relaxing sounds of the womb, which can help soothe fussy babies."

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Swaddle!

"Swaddling worked for us, as well as putting my son in the vibrating activity chair and having him lay in the breastfeeding pillow (one of the greatest inventions ever!)."

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Let Him Cry at Times

"As long as your baby is not in any pain or danger and he's warm, dry, fed, and safe, you can sometimes leave him to cry for a few minutes. If you're stressed out, it's okay to take a quick break and then go back to comforting him."

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The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.