Calm a crying newborn with these tips from a postpartum doula

crying baby by Nutdanai ApikhomboonwarootThe very first time you need to calm a crying newborn is a challenge for all new parents. When your newborn baby begins crying persistently (and you have already tried feeding him and he’s refused) what are you going to do? Try any (or maybe even all) of these tips to help calm a crying newborn. Most likely, one of these time tested ideas will work. And you’ll begin to feel like a parenting pro.

Move. Walk, dance, rock. Sit on one of those giant exercise balls and gently bounce up and down with a crying newborn baby in your arms, until she falls asleep and has been asleep for about fifteen minutes or so. Then swaddle her and put her down to sleep next to you and take a nap. (see below)

Hold him skin-to- skin. Take off all your baby’s clothing, except for his diaper. Open your shirt and put the crying newborn on your bare chest. (Either Mom or Dad can do this.) If you’re cold, put a blanket over the two of you. Or button the shirt around both of you. It generally only take a few minutes of peaceful snuggling to calm a crying newborn in this position. Keeping your baby in this position has been scientifically shown to regulate body temperature, calm parent and baby, and improve breastfeeding skills and milk supply.

Sleep next to him.  Before you baby arrives, beg or borrow a co-sleeper from friends.  What’s a co-sleeper? It’s a little sidecar that fits snugly up against your bed and allows your newborn baby to do WHAT HE OR SHE IS BIOLOGICALLY PROGRAMMED TO DO: stay right next to you all night long. A co-sleeper or snuggle nest keeps your baby safe, but contented because he feels safe and warm, and eliminates your fear of rolling over on him. And safe co-sleeping, with the proper gear, is much safer than napping on the sofa. Or spending the night sitting up in a chair holding your baby.

Don’t worry about spoiling your newborn. There is no such thing. All these strong newborn needs you are witnessing –  motion, to be held skin-to-skin, or to sleep right next to you- will gradually disappear over the first few months of your baby’s life. You are NOT spoiling your baby by answering his cries. You are building trust and meeting the needs your baby has now. And hopefully keeping you, your partner and your baby blissfully calm and sleeping. At least for a few hours at a time.

Share your thoughts on how these tips worked for you to calm a crying newborn in the comments, below.

A postpartum doula is a professional,  with the mission of helping new parents to quickly gain confidence in their parenting skills. Contact Elaine at Tender Times at, 973-291-8200.

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Posted in babies, breastfeeding, doula, infant care, new baby, newborn assistance, postpartum doula, sleeping when you have a new baby, tips for new parents Tagged with: , , , ,

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