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Comforting Techniques

 

Comforting techniques often will calm a crying child if the crying is not caused by pain. Use one technique at a time. Give each technique time to work before switching to another. Once you find what works, stick with it most of the time or use it as the first technique to comfort your child. Comforting techniques include:

  • Offering a pacifier for sucking. Often a child feels soothed by sucking.
  • Rocking gently, but don't rock or shake roughly.
  • Cuddling and holding the baby close. Touching, holding, and softly talking to the baby may stop the crying. It may also help to carry the baby around (in a sling or other baby carrier) while you are doing activities so that the baby is comforted by being close to you.
  • Swaddling in a blanket, but don't make your child too warm.
  • Singing. You may find that singing the same song over and over is soothing.
  • Turning on something with a rhythmic sound, like the hum of a fan, vacuum cleaner, or clothes dryer. A Sleep Tight device, which generates white noise and vibrates the bed, may be soothing to your child.
  • Giving your child a warm water bath if he or she likes to take a bath.
  • Walking or taking your child for a ride in a stroller or a car. Sometimes a walk outside can change a child's mood.

 

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Revised February 16, 2011

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