Some ways to soothe a crying baby that does not want to be fed/changed:
- Curl up together bare tummy to bare tummy for maximum skin contact. Don’t mask your scent with perfumes in the first weeks.
- Try a warm bath and a gentle baby massage (though some babies hate both until they are a few weeks old);
- Rock with your baby in a chair;
- Play soothing music;
- Walk up and down the stairs holding him;
- Try and distract your baby by holding him up to your face and nodding your head; Looking into his eyes may distract and calm him as he can focus on you at this distance.
- Go about your day carrying him in a sling;
- Sing and talk to him with exaggerated facial expressions;
- Try swaddling;
- Put his bassinet/bouncer beside the washing machine.
If you have a pre-term baby the methods used to calm a full-term baby, such as back-patting and rocking, may not work as well. A gentler approach is usually needed, such as sitting still and holding your baby close. They may only like one thing happening to them at a time, such as soft singing or gentle patting.
Unfortunately there are times when some babies just cannot be comforted, and this is where the pressure really starts. The sound of a baby crying is designed to be difficult to listen to – it’s a survival technique – so when it goes on, and on, and on it can become unbearable. Usually with most babies this is a relatively infrequent occurrence, or may only last an hour or two. However, parents whose babies have colic or reflux may experience hours of non-stop crying on a daily basis. If this is the case seek advice and support and bring in friends and family to give you regular breaks.