One of my biggest challenges of being a dad is trying to figure out how to soothe my little boy. There are times when he will cry endlessly. Obviously, babies can’t tell you exactly what is wrong or what they need, so it’s up to us to figure out the problem and how to resolve it. I try to use a simple process of elimination to figure out what’s going on with my little guy.
The late-night feedings, gas pains, dirty diapers, and worst of all the fevers and colds. It’s pretty amazing how quickly your life changes when a baby becomes part of the family. The focus moves away from our everyday lives, like the challenges of work or making time for hobbies. That little person becomes your number one priority and your entire world.
Fever and Colds
Last night was a particularly challenging evening as our little boy was up all night with a fever, horrible cough, and congestion. The toughest part about this is the sadness that it brings us as parents, knowing that he’s in pain. Nonetheless, it’s our responsibility to bring his fever down, sucking the snot out of his little nose, and doing our best to soothe him.
Friday I started my day at 3 AM to get some work taken care of, before taking the day off to take care of my little guy. My baby boy didn’t leave my arms the entire day. It’s an amazing feeling having this little person depend on me so much. The helplessness and dependency that babies have on us, is our biggest and most wonderful challenge.
There are a few basics you should always pay attention to when your little one won’t stop crying. These tips will help soothe and ease his pain.
- When was their last feeding? If it’s been a couple of hours since your little one’s last feeding, there is a good chance that they are crying, simply because they are hungry.
- Did your little one recently finish eating? Did you spend enough time working out the burp? Sometimes it can take a while to work out a burp. Keep in mind that they really can’t do this on their own yet, so they depend on us to help them out!
- Remember to always check their diaper. No baby likes sitting in a wet or poopy diaper! It’s not only uncomfortable, but it can be painful if a diaper rash develops. Always be sure to use an ointment like Aquaphor to help prevent the rash and help with healing and protecting their skin.
- We all know how painful gas pains can be. Just think about how painful they are for your little one! A must-have medicine in your baby cabinet is gas drops, like Little Remedies. I don’t recommend using them all the time, but they are helpful when your baby needs help passing gas. An alternative to using the gas drops is to lay them on their back and bend and straighten their legs repeatedly to help move the gas through their little body.
If your baby isn’t hungry, wet, or in pain, they might just be tired. Think about how you feel when you are overly tired, you may get a little irritable. Well, your baby can feel the same way. The first thing you should do is look for sleepy signs. The most common one is when they rub their little eyes. However, even though they are tired, they may not be ready to lay down for a nap.
- We all know that rocking your baby to sleep is one of the best ways to get them to close their little eyes.
- An alternative to rocking them is dancing them to sleep! Put on one of your favorite songs and hold them close to your body and dance with them! When my baby boy was just two months old, he started falling asleep to The Safety Dance, by Men Without Hats. This is now his favorite song! No matter how fussy he gets, I just put on The Safety Dance and he immediately stops fussing. This even works without music when I sing him the song!
If your baby is still crying after you’ve tried all of the above. Here are some tips to soothe his little body that have helped me get through the days and nights.
- If your baby is sick and has a fever, be sure that you use the correct dosage of Tylenol to help reduce it and ease his pain.
- Your baby loves your voice. Even if you don’t think you can sing, you should try singing your favorite song to him. I’ve always wanted to be a singer, sadly I’m not good enough for the world, but I’m good enough for my kids!
- Sit him in front of you and talk to him. Have a conversation as you would with anyone else. Tell him about your day. He might just be the best listener ever!
- Hold him in your arms and walk around the house and point out decor and items and tell him about them. If you have enough boring things in your home, you might just put him to sleep.
- Take him for a walk in the stroller or put him in the car seat and go for a drive.
It takes time to learn exactly what it takes to soothe your baby. Depending on his mood, one method may work one time, but not the next. Keep trying and be patient. They aren’t purposely being fussy, they just don’t have any other way of telling you what’s going on.