Baby's First Year · Parenting

Comforting your crying baby: Swaddling and other tips

Crying baby being held by caregiverAs a nurse, many parents have asked me to give them tips on comforting and soothing their crying baby. It can be very frustrating and exhausting for parents to hear their baby cry. If you find your frustration climbing, take a break and ask for help.

How can I soothe and comfort my crying baby?

The best ways to soothe and comfort your crying baby include:

  • breastfeeding
  • holding your baby safely skin-to-skin
  • cuddling or rocking your baby
  • carrying your baby in a carrier
  • wrapping your baby loosely in a blanket
  • changing your baby’s diaper
  • giving your baby a bath
  • giving your baby a massage
  • taking your baby to a quiet room

Should I swaddle my baby?

Swaddling is another way parents may decide to comfort their baby. Swaddling can be used for comfort but remember to:

  • follow your baby’s cues and do not swaddle your baby if they resist
  • use a lightweight blanket and dress your baby in light-weight clothing to avoid overheating
  • ensure your baby’s hands are free to allow your baby to show feeding cues
  • ensure your baby can bend their legs and have free movement of hips and legs
  • keep your baby’s head uncovered
  • stop swaddling by 2 months of age or before your baby learns to roll over

There are some risks to swaddling which can include baby becoming too warm, dislocating of the hip and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Swaddling should NEVER be used for sleep.

If you have questions about breastfeeding or swaddling, eChat or speak with a Public Health Nurse at (416) 338-7600.

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