Mom Talk: What are the best ways to calm a crying baby or toddler?

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Advice from Intermountain Moms:

TO CALM YOUR BABY

  1. Nursing
  2. Binky/pacifier
  3. Swaddling, cuddling, rocking, bouncing
  4. Singing, talking, humming, shushing
  5. The 5 S’s method: swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging, and sucking
  6. Change the environment or go on a car ride
  7. Check your attitude – try to stay calm

TO CALM YOUR TODDLER

  1. Every child is different so try different things and remember not to get discouraged.
    • “It totally depends on the individual child and what works with their personality. My baby/toddler is super snuggly so cuddles almost always work with her. My preschooler is extremely independent so it depends on the cause of crying. [For] tantrums, a time out and warning that we can’t talk about it until she stops crying. [For] fear/hurt, she still likes snuggles.” – Azya G.
  2. Try to prevent tantrums before they happen: have routines, give your child choices, make sure they are not hungry or tired
  3. Show them you love them with a hug, kiss, or cuddle
  4. Try to help them calm down by asking them to take a few deep breathes
  5. Once they have calmed down a little, help them use their words to tell you what’s wrong. Then you can try to find a solution together.
    • “For toddlers, name the feeling they are having and affirm that they are having that feeling. Repeat the things they are telling you (or would be telling you if they could). ‘You are so MAD. She has that toy, and you want it. You wish it was your turn right now.’ Often, they’ll sob, ‘YEEAHHH!’ and then the tantrum ends. Give a hug and say you’re sorry they’re having a rough time.” – Ruth O.
  6. Your attitude has a big impact. If you stay calm and speak softly, they will often do the same.
  7. Change the environment: Many moms said that a walk outside can help. Others said just moving to another room for some quiet time with a book and soft music works too.
  8. Try to make them laugh.
    • “I love to fake cry when my toddler cries. Then I do a growling sound and tickle her, and then we just laugh and play.” – Brittany L.
  9. Distraction: Sometimes redirecting their attention to something else (like a book) or asking them to help you with something (like bake cookies) does the trick.
  10. Sometimes just let them be.
    • “There are also those dreaded times when all they’re going to do is cry. That’s when it’s time for you to take a minute away from them while they figure it out. It’s perfectly okay to walk away and let your kid cry it out if that’s what they (or you) need.” – Jennifer P.
    • “I just have to let my toddler get it out. I tell her ‘I know you’re feeling ___. I‘m happy to give you a hug and talk to you about it when you’re ready.’ And let her be after that.” – Nicole J.


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