5 Ways to Soothe My Baby


We were riding in the car when my daughter started crying. We had just gotten back in the car after grocery shopping and we didn’t have far to go, but her piercing scream literally cripples me. Normally I’m able to hold a conversation, surf on my iPhone, or relax while my husband drives, but when my little one is crying in the back seat, all I can manage to do is cringe.

I had just fed her and her diaper was changed so I knew she was just cranky and tired, but that didn’t matter. My stomach tightens up in a knot when I hear her cry and it’s the worst when I can’t do anything about it. I sang the ABCs to her and she calmed down and fell asleep. Finally, I was able to breathe again.

I used to wonder why mothers would say they couldn’t even take a shower by themselves, or go to the bathroom alone once they had a baby? Why can’t you just put them in the playpen and let them cry for a few minutes while you do your business? I wondered. Now that I’m on the other side of the fence I understand completely. Your babies cry causes an internal reaction just for you, like a high pitched sound only a dog can hear. Except it’s a unique key only the mother of that baby can hear in a way that triggers a torturous reaction. Then on top of that, I think my daughter has the lungs of a singer and imagine she may be performing some musicals on stage someday without needing the help of a microphone. Even nurses in the hospital were amazed by her power when she was first born.

Luckily, aside from car rides when she was young (most of the time now, besides when we’re putting her in her seat, she enjoys the car) Lil’ J has been a very happy baby. But she has her bad days. Like when she had her vaccines, or when she’s teething, doesn’t feel well and wants to let us know. Over her almost eight months of life I’ve learned a thing or two about soothing her.

1. Sing to her: Her favorite song is the ABC song, but a song that always calms her down and puts her in a snuggling mood is “A Child’s Prayer” She can sit and stare at me singing that forever! I don’t have the best singing voice, but it’s nice to know she likes it.

2. Give her a bath: I know some babies hate baths but mine loves them. She recognizes the sign for bath and gets excited before I even turn the water on. I take baths with her and we play with bubbles, use her soothing Aquaphor Gentle Wash. I wash her hair and we play until her feet are almost pruny.

3. Play the “Say yes to the dress” theme song: I know this is weird but I attribute this to two things 1. Watching a marathon of Say Yes to the Dress while in labor and 2. Watching Say Yes to the Dress daily with her during maternity leave. If she’s whining at all I’ll turn on an episode on my DVR and she’ll stop and look at the TV. Look, here’s proof.

4. Show her her mobile (I made her): I’m not lying when I say she has loved this mobile since the day I brought her home. And I’m so proud. She will lay in bed and look up at it, or if I’m holding her and she’s not happy I’ll twirl it around and she’ll immediately be enthralled with the paper butterflies and shiny jewels.


5. Breastfeed: This is probably my most effective tool for soothing my daughter. I have no idea how I’d make bumps feel better, help her go to sleep when she’s overly cranky, or easily calm her down when she’s overly hungry if it wasn’t for being able to pop a boob in her mouth. I’m sure I’d find other ways but that definitely has made things easier for me.

What do you do to soothe your baby?

More tips for soothing a baby in the Comfort Zone

This post is sponsored by BabyCenter in conjunction with the BabyCenter Blog Network.

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  1. Every time I get tense when she cries my husband says “I thought we were past this.” Yes, it was a lot worse when she was younger; I couldn’t recognize all the cries yet. Now I know the difference between fussiness and despair, but it still gets a visceral reaction when she cries (just less intense now). My husband doesn’t get it. I’ve read that your baby’s cry actually causes the release of some hormone that makes you more tense and go into super mothering mode, so I don’t think it’s anything we can really control.

    The car is the worst place for cries because I can’t do anything to really calm her down. Eventually she may fall asleep, but often not.

    My calming methods: singing, humming, rubbing her back, walking around with her (change of scenery works well). However, breastfeeding is hands-down my favorite method of calming. Boobs are magical that way. I’m not looking forward to when I wean her and can no longer use them for calming.

  2. She’s talking about your mobile. I’m jealous, I wish I could make that. When lil man crys, breast feeding is an option, but also putting him on the ergo and walking him around the house will make him quie. When i sing to him, he just cries louder. lol. i don’t have the best voice though.

  3. I hear ya on that internal reaction. I am that older mom that breaks all the “rules” and I give him his “baba”. Then, if we are out in public, I stare anyone down who dares to look sideways at my 19 month old walking around with a bottle LOL

  4. When I had a super colicky baby there were only two options: get in water or go outside. Taking a bath was usually soothing, although sometimes Jasper would just have none of it. But getting in the stroller was always a sure thing. Rolling the windows down in the car wasn’t even the same thing. He hated that!

  5. our favorite song is “Wheels on the Bus” (and he especially loves the GiggleBellies version on YouTube)…hubs HATES the song since I’ve been singing it for 10mths straight now LOL

  6. Oh my! Those thighs and those rolls….I am sorry – excuse me, but I wanna just SQUEEZE them!!!!! She gets cuter every.single.POST! How????!!!!???? And I don’t know how I missed the mobile DIY…but that just rocks. So fabulous….

  7. My 10mo old lo like the theme song to Spongebob…and I play lullabyes in the car when she cries…i know that gut wrenching feeling especially when ur the one driving…she loves music just like her bro & sisters

  8. When Aus screams, I have an arsenal of soothing techniques too. Talking to him, playing any music, singing “My Baby You Will Be” [only for naps and sleep times though], giving him a bath, or playing peek-a-boo so he laughs at me. LOL. I just started doing this totally over exaggerated “shh!’ thing with silly faces and he INSTANTLY starts giggling and gets quiet. I love it. Because when I need him to quiet down in a public place…it works! lol

  9. My four month old is still a mystery to me, when he is tired I can usually get him to sleep with a pacifier in his mouth (he ONLY likes them when he is tired!) and then I put his face kind of in my armpit and he buries his little head in there…Other than that I am at a loss to get him calmed down, especially when he is in his car seat. He is the EXACT opposite that my angel baby five year old was. She was so easy and he is so difficult :o(

  10. definitely the breast!
    what am i going to do come weaning time? ugh….
    he also gets calm looking out the window. I just pick him up and bring him to the window and we stare quietly out there together.
    or if he’s really crying i get really loud and do a crazy dance and he just looks at me like WHAT?! but is quiet as a lamb lol

  11. First and foremost, that mobile is incredible! Holy cow!

    Second, I can’t stand for Ava to cry also. We never have let her CIO, and so it’s rare that she does, but man – when she does? Oy! Anyhow, I have found that breastfeeding is one of my more effective parenting techniques. Seriously, women who don’t breastfeed are at a disadvantage when it comes to tantrums, unexplainable crying, etc!

    Also, the fact that she loves the “Say Yes to the Dress” theme song is hilarious!

  12. Our little guy (8 months) loves the theme song to the TV comedy show “Big Bang Theory”. It is pretty catchy- but we own the DVD’s and I listened to it during pregnancy, in the first few months and even now. It totally make sense that Lil J loves “say yes to the dress”.

    Singing, and breastfeeding also calms him down. Other things that have worked in the last few weeks have been going outside (especially if the wind is blowing), letting him play with a balloon, and letting him stand up to play with things (while we are behind to catch him).

  13. For Moo the best ways to soothe her were the bouncer seat or breastfeeding. When she started teething a cold spoon from the freezer worked or a popsicle.

  14. Breastfeeding for sure!

    When the baby weaned at 14 months, I was so sad. I didn’t have the magic fix anymore! It was such an adjustment- for both of us.

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