Here is your most definitive checklist to calm a fussy baby that takes a comprehensive look at all different reasons and provides effective tips and tricks to deal with the situation.
Most times babies are adorable – they giggle and make cute sounds, they want to be kissed and cuddled and played with all the time, and when they smile they can set everything right. But when they get fussy… boy oh boy! Things can get quickly out of hand. You need to act fast if you don’t want a fussy baby to throw a full-blown tantrum. But how exactly should you go about it?
25 Tips to Calm a Fussy Baby
Here are some easy to follow and simple tips to calm a fussy baby, grouped under different categories with reasons behind their fussiness.
Does Your Baby Need Basic Tending To? Try This.
The most common and obvious causes of fussiness in babies are hunger, thirst, sleep and a soiled diaper. So try the following:
- Feed your baby. (Don’t forget to burp her too.)
- Offer her some water.
- Check her diaper.
- Try and get her to nap.
Is Your Baby Sick? Try This.
Babies that are normally not fussy tend to become so when they are sick or about to be sick. If there has been a change in the weather or a change of place, this might make your baby susceptible to illness. Try the following things to calm a sick fussy baby.
- Check for fever. Consult a paediatrician about basic medication you can offer your baby.
- Check for gas or colic. Try bicycle legs or rubbing the back to relieve gas. The same tricks can at times relieve colic too, or you may try other remedies for colic like burping the baby, using a warm-water bag, etc.
- Is your baby teething? Make sure she is well-fed so she has enough strength. Also, consult a paediatrician about suitable medicine.
Is Your Baby Uncomfortable? Try This.
A lot of times babies become fussy simply because they are uncomfortable. Maybe the room is too hot for them, maybe they are feeling cold, or maybe some clothes label is poking somewhere! Try these tips.
- Check their clothes. Are there any labels? Could the stitching be bothering them? Undress your baby. If she stops fussing, it is the clothes!
- Try removing or adding a layer; your baby could be either feeling warm or cold.
- Step out of the house for some fresh air. Sometimes being inside a room for too long can get claustrophobic for the baby… and boring too!
- Could your baby be over-stimulated? Too many sounds, colours, can overwhelm the baby. Put her down for a nap in her crib and leave her alone for a while. Take her toys away, and pull the curtains close/dim the lights.
- Is your baby bored? Try and stimulate her! Sing to her, talk to her, bring her her favourite toys, or take her out for a stroll.
Does Baby Want Some Action? Try This.
Sometimes babies simply get bored of just lying down and looking at the ceiling! There is every chance that your baby just wants some action! Here’s how you can entertain your fussy baby.
- Sit in a rocking chair and rock your baby.
- Bounce her on your lap.
- Swing your baby in the cradle.
- Take your baby out for a car ride.
Does Baby Want Some Noise? Try This.
We tend to treat babies with a lot of care, making sure we are not too loud, or fast, or rash around them. But sound stimulation is good for babies, and a crucial factor in their development. Try the following tips to soothe your fussy baby using sound.
- Try and sing a lullaby to your baby or play some soothing music. You can even try stimulating music depending on what time of the day it is.
- If music seems to aggravate her, try and use some white noise. Sometimes, the simple whirring sound of a ceiling fan or the sound of falling water can help calm a fussy baby and even get her to sleep.
- You can try and emulate white noise yourself. Hum in your baby’s ear or make a simple hush sound.
Does Baby Want Some Tender Love and Care? Try This.
This may be typically seen in babies that grow up in nuclear families – they may not get as much physical contact as they desire. Physical contact is very important for proper growth and development of babies, in all spheres – physical, mental, as well as socio-emotional. Try the following tricks to soothe a fussy baby.
- Hug your baby! Hold her close, and provide skin-to-skin contact.
- Swaddle your baby. Sometimes the mere feeling of being held can help to soothe a baby. This works especially at times when you may be busy and not able to hug or cuddle your baby.
- At times swaddling may not work. But you need your arms free to cook! So what do you do then? Wear your baby in a sling. Baby-wearing has been shown to have a lot of benefits for the baby, the biggest being a feeling of being loved and cared for (which makes them less fussy and more happy!).
- Comfort suckling is also known to pacify babies. Try and offer your breast to your baby. If you cannot, try and offer a pacifier.
Still Fussy? Check This.
If all the above tips do not work, a deeper problem may be the reason for your baby’s fussiness. Consider the following suggestions.
- Is the room your baby is in comfortable for her? Something about the room may not be working for her. Try and get rid of smells. Air the room well, allow some natural light to filter into the room. Check for insects like mosquitoes or flies.
- Could your baby be suffering from some deeper health problem? Perhaps an undetected illness? Take her to the doctor for a thorough check-up.
Most of the times, mothers can instinctively tell why their baby is fussy or crying at a given point. But sometimes it may be difficult to discern. We hope this checklist helps you comfort your fussy baby so that she is happy and smiling again!