When Livi was a baby and would cry all the time, I got a lot of advice, both solicited and not, on how to calm and soothe her. I would also search online for anything that might do the trick and give us a break.
As a result, we tried a lot of different techniques, gadgets, and baby equipment. Some of it didn’t work; some made a (slight) difference. But we also found a few ways that really worked for us. I will cover both, the hits and the misses. High need babies are so unpredictable; what didn’t work for us, may just be what you are looking for.
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I talked to Livi. All. The. Time.
Talking to Livi was one of the things that got me through some tough days. It didn’t always work but sometimes it would stop her from crying. She would listen and her eyes would follow every move I made.
At first it was awkward to talk like this all the time but I got used to it fast. You may wonder what you could possibly talk about to a baby. And the answer is, anything and everything.
Most of the time, I would just describe what I was doing or what we would do next. Often, I would tell her that I was sorry that she was having such a rough time. I would tell her that things would get better soon and that we had to hang in there and help each other.
I would always try to keep it upbeat and use a soothing and happy voice. It not only set the right mood for her but also for me. And it calmed both of us. When I felt overwhelmed or frustrated, talking through it made a big difference.
Listening to me talk was soothing to Livi as a newborn because she had listened to me while growing in my belly. Later, when she was able to look around and take in her surroundings, it was a great way to entertain her and keep her occupied for a few minutes.
I also noticed other advantages further down the road:
Livi was an early babbler and then talker and she has quite the vocabulary for her age. Now, I am not saying that my talking to her all the time had anything to do with it. After all babies do things in their own time, when they are good and ready. But I’d like to think that it made at least a difference.
I also got into the habit of telling Livi what we had planned for the day, what we would do next, and why we were doing certain things. Now that she is a high need toddler, it is a great way to help her cope with transitions and it’s natural for both of us to approach changes and challenges this way.
So, next time your baby cries, try talking to her. Tell her a story or talk about your day and she may just stop to listen to you.
And don’t despair if it doesn’t work. Keep trying other things. One will eventually do the trick.