Even the happiest babies have moments where they may seem inconsolable, especially when they’re hungry, wet, overtired or not feeling well. If your baby’s typically cheerful delves into full-blown grumpiness, snuggles, swaddles, songs and sounds can all work to cheer him up.
A fussy baby may just be hungry. If you’ve already fed him, resist the temptation to overfeed him. The American Academy of Pediatrics says this could make him even more uncomfortable. Instead, give him a pacifier, or your finger, since most babies are soothed by sucking. If it's been at least 2 to 2 1/2 hours since he last ate, go ahead and feed him.
Swaddle and Hold
Swaddling mimics the close quarters of the womb, the comfort of which can settle down the baby, states the AAP. To swaddle correctly, spread a thin baby blanket out, and fold down one corner. Lay the baby on top of the blanket face up, keeping her head above the fold. Straighten her arms and tuck the left side of the blanket under her right side, and then tuck the right side of the blanket under her left side and into the blanket to secure it. It still must be loose enough to give her some wiggle room.
Walk, Rock and Sing
The simple act of walking or rocking with your baby can cheer him up, according to the AAP. It mimics the rhythmic motions he felt in utero. If you're out and about, use a front-pack carrier or sling since it gives the baby an added sense of security. You can also sing to him, rub his back, and speak to him in gentle, lilting tones.
Turn on the Fan
The “whooshing” sounds of certain machines can help soothe a fussy baby by blocking out other distracting noises, states WhattoExpect.com. Try turning on a fan, the vacuum or a hair dryer -- a safe distance away from the baby, of course – to see if it helps. White noise machines and mobiles can also do the trick.
If your baby loves playing in the tub, let him play in warm water for a little while to see if that improves his mood, suggests WhattoExpect.com. If it’s close to his nap or bedtime, dim the lights to help him relax, since babies -- especially newborns -- are sensitive to bright light. Of course, don’t give your baby a tub bath if his umbilical cord is still attached, as that could lead to infection.