Most people focus on mums, and while they do a great job most times, there are plenty of dads out there who do their fair share of soothing crying children. Here are ten tips to help you soothe your child when he or she is crying, without the panic:
First, stay calm. Don’t expect the first thing you do to work. Give a few things a try and be patient.
Next, identify the cause of the crying. If you’re trying to soothe a hungry child by rocking him or her, or a child who is teething
by playing soothing music, you’re not going to have a lot of success. Learn to identify the cause of the crying before you start trying to stop it.
As a first option, try offering your child a warm bottle of milk or formula. Since most children cry when they are hungry, while some will ignore a wet nappy, it’s a good chance he or she may be looking for a meal.
Try giving your baby your little finger to suck (just make sure it’s clean.) It’s like a portable soother, and helps many children to calm down.
Keep your baby up against your shoulder, with his or her head supported, and try singing or humming softly at the same time.
Rocking or swinging your child, either in your arms or in a swing or seat, is another tried and tested way to soothe a crying baby.
Try pulling faces, making noises or indulging in a little physical comedy. It’s amazing how quickly stunts like those can turn your baby’s cries into giggles.
Try placing your baby in a baby carrier, strapped to your chest. Most babies respond to their parent’s breathing, warmth and heartbeat by calming down quickly. It also leaves your hands free for other things.
Combining rocking and singing is another favourite of dads, and it definitely does work. Don’t worry if you can’t sing very well – your child won’t mind, as long as the song is soft and gentle.
Finally, if you’ve tried everything, your child is dry and fed, and there’s no obvious cause for the crying, you could try simply waiting. Sometimes babies really do cry for no reason, and if you can stand to wait, it might simply stop on its own.