I was a frazzled first time mother. My daughter almost never stopped crying. She had her content moments during the day, but she was unpredictable and very demanding. I was insecure and worried because of so much fear instilled from baby ‘experts.’
My first child cried every night starting at 7 pm until 1pm. It was like clockwork. We tried every comfort mechanism we could find and were usually left wondering why everything we did was wrong. Here are a handful of the soothing methods that have been successful for us:
1. Football hold. Not the nursing football position, but close. The baby’s head goes over your elbow like the picture below. This helps for a gassy baby, but in our case it helps the baby see as we are walking around.
2. Walking/Dancing. Babies love movement, but my babies are not content with just a rocking chair. They prefer to be up high and moving quick-ish.
3. Talking. Both my girls are social. They want eye contact, and they want you to vocalize. It can be awkward to talk to a baby (you run out of things to say!), but it helps them develop emotionally, and socially anyway so you might as well use it to appease ;)
4. Going outside. This eliminates indoor, stressful stimuli (TV, radio, other people, microwave, water facet, animals, vacuum, drips, fans, and movement all amount to a stressful child). It is especially helpful if you are near a river, beach, or where you can hear crickets or wind in the trees. My first would calm down within seconds of walking out of the door and you could feel her body to relax the muscles.
5. Water therapy. While listening to the shower is a bit soothing, the best water therapy for my children was to fill the tub up and let them float. When you hold their head up, their plum bodies float pretty well and they can move freely (hold carefully!). My girls like to move! You could see their desire to sit up, crawl and scoot well before they had the ability. Being in deep water gave them the ability to use their arms and legs and to wiggle to their hearts content. I had to be careful not to over exhaust them in water though!