Trying to calm a cranky baby can be stressful for parents, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has an important caution about what not to do.
Don’t place baby in a so-called “sleep positioner,” “nest” or “anti-roll” device, because of the suffocation risk. Babies have died after rolling from side to tummy and being unable to breathe. While some of these devices had been cleared for use in preventing reflux in infants, the FDA now advises parents not to use any of them for any reason.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has safe suggestions you can try instead.
When you hold babies, position them so that they are on the left side, which is helpful if they’re having any digestion issues.
Don’t overfeed your baby. The Academy suggests waiting at least 2 to 2.5 hours from the beginning of one feeding to the next.
Try to re-create the comfort baby felt in the womb. Rock baby gently and play soothing sounds. The snugness of being in a baby carrier against your body may help, too.
Moms and dads don’t always agree on when or how to tend to a crying baby, especially in the middle of the night, and that can cause friction between spouses. In a quiet moment, new parents should have a calm discussion if their approaches to soothing baby differ. Talk openly about the stress you might be feeling and how to form a unified front.
And remember, when it’s time for the crib, always position babies on their backs in a completely empty crib — no blanket, pillows or toys.
Get more baby-soothing tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.