Babies cry. And fuss. And scream. I know this because we have one. And this evening she has shown what she is capable of. As she stirs, threatening to wake up and start again, I hunt for advice on how to put out that fire. There is a ton of advice out there telling us how to soothe our crying babies, but I’ve realised that sometimes, a baby is screaming so loud she will not hear our soothing tones. So I have put together my own masterclass of sorts learnt over the last twenty two days; a collection of the top ten tips that come from a man who has tried everything.
- Don’t ask her “what’s the matter?”, it’s pointless, she doesn’t understand and can’t reply. Instead, just keep repeating “I know, I know…”
- When in the supermarket, rocking the packet of nappies you are holding under your arm does nothing to soothe her when she is with her mum, crying in the next aisle.
- Rocking an empty pram when your wife is holding the crying baby has the same level of impact as the above.
- She can’t hear you repeating “shhh” when you are downstairs and your wife is changing her nappy upstairs.
- Sing a capella versions of your favourite rock songs, so you don’t drive yourself crazy by getting stuck in a never ending loop of Incy Wincy Spider.
- Daddy’s little finger can work as well as anything that mummy has to suck on.
- Begin to bounce her gently to disrupt the screaming rhythm her diaphragm has built up. This genuinely works, and if you’re lucky, she will have forgotten what she was crying about and not start up again two seconds later.
- Telling her she is overtired doesn’t seem to work in reasoning with her in the way you would expect it to. It’s best just to will her to fall asleep.
- Once you have found something that does actually soothe her, make sure it’s comfortable. The last thing you want is to be hopping on one leg for the whole night because you fear that a change in method will set her off again.
- It turns out there’s only nine…
Unless any other experts have any suggestions of course? After an evening like this one, I would be willing to consider everything.