The first few months with a newborn can be tough for new parents. Is your baby eating enough? Are you tired from their all-nighters? Understanding your baby’s different cries, catering to their needs and soothing with the right solution can be a difficult task. Here is a checklist of the possibilities to help calm your child. The quicker you respond to their cries, the less they will feel the need to excessively cry out as a means of communication.

1. The Golden Checklist

Babies have three essential things they will cry out for and they are:

1. Your baby needs a nappy change

A wet or dirty nappy is often one of the main reasons why your baby is crying. Always check when they wake up, before a feed and after a feed. Dirty or wet nappies is a common thing when it comes to life with a baby. If you make it a routine to check, it can save you a lot of frustration and time.

2. Your baby is sleepy

Some babies need assistance to fall asleep. This means that you may need to hold them until they do. You can never spoil a baby by holding them too much.

3. Your baby is hungry

Food is life and if you’ve missed your baby’s feeding cues, they may start crying as a result. Or sometimes they wake up and instantly feel hungry. Offer food and if they are eager to take it then it means that your baby is hungry.

2. Check your baby’s clothing

Sometimes they get too hot or too cold. If the first checklist doesn’t work, try taking off a layer or putting one on. Newborn bodies are still learning how to adjust and maintain temperature so they may need a little assistance in the clothing department.

3. Use the 5 ‘S’

Your baby may just need to be soothed. The five S’s can help pacify a crying baby and get them to calm down again.

S’ One – Swinging

Swinging or rocking a baby can help calm them down as it mimics the motions they feel whilst in the womb. This also helps them to fall asleep quicker as their eyes try to lock onto something but cannot and therefore tiring them out.

S’ Two – Side/Stomach Position

Putting your baby sideways against you can help calm them down. It gives them sense of closeness and safety which can encourage them to sleep.

S’ Three – Shushing

Saying shhhhh or any rhythmic sound such as a repetitive tune can help calm and put a baby to sleep.

S’ Four – Swaddling

Swaddling your baby in a blanket can help them out with the Moro reflex. This reflex often wakes them up, startle the baby and may even scare them. The Moro reflex is an automatic bodily response when the baby feels as if they’re falling, even when you’re holding them quite firmly.

S’ Five – Sucking

Babies have a sucking reflex which means that they will switch focus from crying to sucking. If you don’t want to use a pacifier, you can always put your finger (make sure its clean) into their mouth for a little bit.

4. Gas and Reflux

If your baby still refuses to calm down and sleep, they may be having a gas or reflux issue. To fix this, lightly massage the abdomen in a clock-wise motion to push the gas trapped in the intestines out. This will alleviate the pain they may be feeling.

5. Feeding at small intervals

Smaller meals for your baby can help avoid acidity. Remember that your newborn is only little and can easily be overfed. Giving your baby small amounts at higher frequencies, burping once or twice during and after the feed can help avoid acidity.