You will soon learn differences in cries, from a cry of "I'm hungry" to "I've been overstimulated." It is important to respond to your baby's cries. Contrary to old wives' tales, young babies cannot be spoiled by being picked up when crying. Being held is reassuring and comforting when a baby cannot express herself any other way.
You might try these techniques to console your crying baby:
- Take care of physical problems first - hunger, diaper change, need to burp.
- Walk with baby in a sling or in a stroller.
- Rock your baby in a rhythmic, gentle motion.
- Try a baby swing or rocking cradle.
- Gently pat or stroke on the back or chest.
- Try swaddling your baby.
- Go for a ride in the car.
- Turn on some white noise (such as a washing machine or vacuum cleaner).
No matter how frustrated you may become, never shake your baby. This can cause severe injury to your baby's fragile brain. If you become angry or frustrated, allow someone else to take over for a while. If you are alone, put your baby down in a safe place, such as the crib and go to another room for a few moments. This will give you time to collect yourself. Then you can return to your baby and try a different tactic.