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It’s one of the worst things for a mum (especially a first-time mum) to hear their baby cry. All we want to do is cuddle our little one and soothe them back to smiles. But sometimes it’s not that easy. Here are our top tips on how to settle a baby.

Before looking at how to settle a baby, let’s focus a bit on why they could be unsettled.

Why do babies cry?

There are many reasons why babies cry. Of course, babies cannot talk, so crying is their main method of communication to tell us that something is wrong. In most cases, a baby’s cry does not indicate anything medically serious but is an expression of discomfort. The most common reasons babies cry include:

  • hunger
  • tiredness
  • fear
  • discomfort
  • overstimulation
  • excess wind
  • having a wet or soiled nappy

My baby cries A lot. Is this normal?

All babies are different and some may cry infrequently, while others may cry more often. Infants tend to cry the most from around 6 to 8 weeks, but then this starts to decrease and by around 5 months, babies are generally more settled.

Some babies are born with acid reflux or colic that affects their ability to settle or to feed. These babies will most likely cry for long periods of time, making parents worried and upset. Many of these types of conditions can be treated, so if you feel your baby is crying a lot or is taking a long time to settle, then it’s best to talk to a health professional.

How to settle a baby

Cuddles

There is no such thing as too many cuddles and you cannot ‘spoil’ a baby for giving them hugs. So if your bub is crying, pick them up and give them a cuddle. Try not to wait too long before responding to their cries as they will get more distressed the longer they wait. You can also try singing or talking to them in a soft soothing voice.

Give Your Baby A Feed

Could your baby be hungry? One of the common causes of a baby crying is expressing hunger. Try offering your baby milk (via breast or bottle) and see if this helps to settle your bub. You can always check with your doctor or family nurse as to how much milk your little one needs.

Change Their Nappy

Most babies don’t enjoy the sensation of a wet or soiled nappy so they may get distressed if they need a nappy change. Be sure to use good quality nappies such as Little One’s Ultra Dry Nappieswhich have been tried, tested and recommended above leading brands by Australian Mums and they are great value for money.  You can also apply a barrier cream at night to protect your baby’s skin when there may be longer stretches between changes. Ensuring your bub’s nappy is comfortable is an important step in helping to settle a baby.

Change Their Clothing

Some parents may inadvertently over or under-dress their babies, so if your baby is grizzly, make sure they’re not too hot or too cold and check whether their clothes are too tight or scratchy. It’s best to dress your baby in comfortable cotton onesies, that are easy to put on and remove, rather than fancy dresses or fashionable jeans.

Get Your Baby Ready For Bed

If your baby is crying, this may be a sign that they’re tired and need to go to sleep. Act promptly and prepare your baby for sleep. Feed them, change their nappy, swaddle them and put them in their cot in a dark, quiet room. All these factors really help to settle a baby to sleep.

Rock Them

Many babies love movement so a good way to settle a baby is to gently rock them in your arms. You can also place them in a pram or a baby carrier and take them for a walk.

Bath And Massage

Water can be really calming for babies and many parents find that the best way to settle their baby is with a warm bath. The water relaxes bub and it’s a wonderful bonding process as well. After the bath, give your baby a gentle baby massage.

What are your top tips on how to settle a baby? Share them with us in the comments below.

little ones nappies logo in white on an orange cloud

This post is proudly brought to you by Little One’s Ultra Dry Nappies – designed to help your child stay comfy and happy. We’ve recently refreshed our Little One’s Nappies. We’re introducing our new nappies, and you will see more of them on the shelves over the coming weeks. They are still the super absorbent nappy you know and love but now proudly Australian made and a super soft breathable lining for softness. Discover at Woolworths. #sponsored

  • I dont have any useful tips, nothing worked for me. I just had to wait for them to grow out of it

    Reply

  • My daughter didn’t cry all that much but my son oh my he cries and cries and has been so unsettled. So hard to go through and all you want to do is make them feel better. Cuddles is a big help though. And making sure I’ve met every need possible for him and then just go through the motions again

    Reply

  • My first baby cried a lot, he was near impossible to settle and when he did eventually nod off….it wasn’t for long. It was exhausting

    Reply

  • Settling a baby is easy. Any ideas hot to settle a toddler? ????

    Reply

  • Staying calm yourself is very important (although often easier said than done).

    Reply

  • Great tips. The danger of cuddling and rocking your child to sleep is they’ll get totally dependant on you to fall asleep. Especially with my youngest I made an effort not to do so and she learnt to self settle very well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for cuddling and rocking our babies !

    Reply

  • These are some great tips for all those new Mums.

    Reply

  • Good advice!

    Reply

  • Try to remember that babies will eventually sleep. This stage does not last forever and you too will get to sleep again.

    Reply

  • Good advice.

    Reply

  • Great article for new mums.

    Reply

  • Personally I’ve found my son cries more and is way more cuddly than my daughter was as a baby and boy it is exhausting.. he always has trapped wind and only likes to sleep being held..


    • That does sound tiring indeed. His is it now almost a year later ?

    Reply

  • good ideas for all new parents

    Reply

  • We give our big lots of cuddles and a bottle. That usually calms her or puts her to sleep.

    Reply

  • We cradle baby and sit no a fitness ball and bounce

    Reply

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