In the first few weeks, it’s not unusual to panic at every little sound your baby makes. You’re hyper sensitive to her cries and it’s hard not to jump up immediately the moment they start. As you gain confidence you’ll start understanding your baby’s cries and whether she’s telling you she’s tired, hungry, needing a change or bored.
Shrill crying for long periods may be colic and need more help. If your baby’s showing sings of being ill, has a temperature or won’t feed, call your GP or NHS Direct (0845 4647).
If your baby is otherwise healthy, most tears are easily dealt with in one of these five ways…
Cuddle your baby
The power of touch is incredibly strong for your new baby. The closeness, the warmth of your body and the smell of your skin are so important in her new world, and clutching her to you can make a big difference. Remember, your baby was secure inside a small space in your womb until recently, and closeness still means a lot.
Cuddling your baby now will develop a confident toddler rather than a needy one. (More on baby cuddles.)
Sing to her
You can pick your baby up and talk to her with a soothing voice, but you will quickly notice that gently singing evens out your voice out and makes it easier for you to keep up the soothing momentum.
Try nursery rhymes or or just sing some of your personal favourites – rock, indie, soul and pop all sounds good to a baby when sung by your voice, even if you’re no virtuoso!
You may find that moving around soothes your baby more. If you’re lucky, the rocking action of a rocking chair or you swaying on a chair will be enough, but most babies love the movement of you carrying them around the house, so expect to get in a lot of exercise over the next few months!
If you find your baby just likes to be with you around the house, try out a sling or carrier as this makes it easier and kinder to your back. If you find yourself getting tired, try placing her in her pram and gently moving it back and forth if you don’t fancy going out for a walk.
Check out baby sling and carrier reviews on our sister site MadeForMums.
Kick out the tunes
Some babies respond well to music, though gentle tunes are advisable. It doesn’t have to be classical music or anything high-brow. Some babies love pop music and especially the lilting rhythms of reggae.
Or, try a different kind of ‘music’ – the reassuringly constant hum of a washing machine or the rumble of the vacuum cleaner can be just what your baby needs!
Maybe she’s hungry
Depending on your feeding regime, a short feed can be just want she needs to calm down. Many new mums don’t structure their feeding times until three or four months, and feed on demand until this time.
While your baby is still settling into a feeding routine of his own choosing, the occasional comfort feed won’t do any harm. (More on breastfeeding.)