how to calm a crying baby

How to Calm a Crying Baby and Get Through the Witching Hour

In those evening hours, you may notice your otherwise content baby begins to become extremely fussy. We've been there, and we know how overwhelming it can be! Especially when the day has gone seemingly well and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the screaming starts (and it can feel like it is never ending). As your anxiety rises, you begin to try everything that you know, from offering a feeding or gas drops to rocking your little one, but nothing seems to work!

The reality? Sometimes, they just need to get some of that built-up energy out... and it can be LOUD! Keep reading for our tips on how to calm a crying baby and get through the witching hour.

How to calm a crying baby:

Note: The below tips are for babies 3 months of age and under

  • Swaddle well
  • Dim the lights
    • Babies can become easily overstimulated, dim the lights to help remove some stimulation.
  • White Noise
    • Babies learn by association and routine, and we use the ways they know to send consistent messages. Sound can be one of the ways we can communicate this!
      • Imagine going from the noise of a loud subway to everyone tip-toeing around you, literally. It’s almost silly to think we’re trying to hush the household to get the baby to sleep. What they really need is the relaxing familiarity of the sound of the womb (with normal household noise in the background).
    • We love the LectroFan Classic Sound Machine!
  • Gentle swaying or the Moms on Call Baby Ferris Wheel
  • Head outside
    • You will be so surprised how much this helps both you and your baby!
    • Taking a quick walk or just stepping outside and soaking up some Vitamin D can be a great mood booster!
  • Bicycle legs
    • The baby may have some gas trapped in their belly, get those legs moving! Lay the baby on their back and gently move their legs in a bicycle motion.
  • Massage the baby's belly
    • Giving a baby a belly massage can also help get that trapped air moving!
  • Try "The Hold" By Dr. Robert Hamilton
    1. Fold their arms in over each other on their chest.
    2. Support their arms/chest and jaw securely with them facing outwards.
    3. Grasp the diaper area in between the legs and hold at a 45° angle.
    4. Gently sway, rock up and down, and circle their butt slightly.

See Dr. Robert Hamilton's Demo below, and be sure to listen to Moms on Call on Dr. Robert Hamilton’s Podcast “The Hamilton Review” Here!

We can control what we can control (the sleep environment and the routine) to set our kids up for success. Follow along with Moms on Call in the Knowledge Center and be sure to check out our resources for getting all the details to help babies (and toddlers!) establish great sleep habits.

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