When it comes to placating a crying baby, mothers often have an unfair advantage hidden under their shirts. Their ability to feed a baby from their breast automatically creates a bond that new dads have to work a little harder to create. This can sometimes lead to new dads feeling a little useless and on the periphery when their little one is upset, but that needn’t be the case. Try to cuddle and soothe your child as soon and as often as you can, and your baby will quickly become accustomed to you. Once that familiarity sets in, they’ll start to feel much more comfortable and relaxed by your presence. Adopting some of the following tips as well might just help you along the way too.
Create a relaxing playlist
I’ve had great success soothing my children with calming music. Both my son and daughter responded really positively to certain tunes when they were babies. It actually got to a point in which my wife would call me in when she was struggling to placate them, so I could give them a cuddle and start playing my specially selected playlist on my phone.
There’s no one secret song that works, however. Each baby is different, so it stands to reason that each will find different songs soothing. My daughter could only be calmed by me playing Rococo Zephyr by Bill Callahan, whilst my son preferred to listen to me whistling the theme tune to the Pink Panther cartoons. Listen to songs whilst you cuddle your child, and see which ones they respond to. You’ll be amazed at the power that certain songs can have over a baby.
Divert their attention
If something has upset your baby, then try to distract them with something they might be interested in. At this age, that can be as simple as bringing them up to a window to allow them to see outside, or showing them a room in the house that they don’t normally see (kitchens, lofts, the bedrooms of siblings, etc.). A change of scenery will often be enough to bring them out of their funk.
If changing the surroundings isn’t possible, then try to introduce something new to them instead. Hand them a spoon, or bright shirt that they haven’t seen before, and they’ll quickly forget any woes while they explore the new textures and shapes.
Go for a drive
This is an old favorite of many a beleaguered parent over the years. It’s not something I’ve tried myself, but I know countless friends who swear by it. Being tucked up safely in a car seat and listening to the low humming of the engine and road beneath, probably isn’t a million miles away from their experience in the womb. If you’re looking for a way to get your child to sleep, this does seem to work quite well.
Caution should be exercised here though. With a baby’s head being so much heavier than the rest of their body, there is a chance that an extended period of having their chin tucked into their chest while asleep in a car seat could cause breathing difficulties. Try to keep any drives short to be on the safe side, and be sure to check on them as often as you can.
Check the basics first
Some babies cry more than others, but nearly all will cry if they’re hungry, sick, or too hot or cold. If they don’t seem ill, and their temperature seems fine, then try feeding them some milk. This may involve calling Mom in, but no amount of music or driving will soothe a hungry baby. If you’re bottle feeding, or doing a mix of the two however, you can feed the child by yourself, further strengthening the bond the baby feels toward you.
While it can sometimes seem impossible to calm a screaming baby, it’s important that you stay calm yourself as they seem to pick up on any stress they can sense. Our New Dad Survival Kits provide everything a new dad needs to help their parenting go smoothly, including items such as mustache pacifiers and cute ice cream-shaped teethers to keep any upset babies busy. Trust me, when it comes to placating a screaming child, you can never have too many options available!
Robbie Meechan is a parenting and lifestyle blogger at paternaldamnation.com. We're excited to have him as a guest blogger here at DadGifts!