Soothing a baby: finger sucking and more

Soothing a baby: finger sucking and more

Our clever newborns quickly figure out that sucking on their fingers is soothing when they're upset. We can also help comfort our babies by rocking them, swinging them in a swing, or carrying them in a front pack.

Sucking is a healthy, self-comforting behavior for newborns. A three-week-old baby will resort to sucking her own fingers – or yours – as a way of calming herself when she's upset or trying to settle down. You can help your baby master this skill by leaving her hands bare (no mitts or covers), wrapping her up with her hands near her face, and putting a rolled-up hand towel or receiving blanket behind her shoulders to help round them forward when she's in her infant seat.

Baby carriers and swings to the rescue!
One thing babies this age have in common all over the world is the tendency to build up to an afternoon or evening crying session. This crying doesn't mean that your baby is missing something, or that you're doing anything wrong; it's caused by her maturing nervous system. Of course, knowing that may not help when you're listening to your baby wail. Try to stay calm. Rock, swaddle and sing to your baby. Carry her in a baby carrier during the day – it can reduce the duration of the crying later on – and try putting her in a swing; the motion can often help quiet a distressed baby.

FYI: At this age, babies are demanding, so it can be a particularly hard time for you. Lack of sleep and big changes in the old routine can hit parents very hard. Hang in there! Try to think of this as a brief extension of your pregnancy. Rest when your baby sleeps, and be sure to eat regularly.  


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The sucking


I don't want my son sucking his thumb and I don't let him during the day but I have recently noticed that at night he sometimes sucks his thumb while sleeping...I wish I could do something to stop this

great info

champ 9/23/2015

my baby has been fussy in the evenings...after reading the article I now have some ideas on what to do.

Great info

Cheech 9/22/2015

Great to know how to calm my newborn.



Thank you for sharing this useful information.

Infant carrier

Feibe 9/11/2015

Yesterday I put my baby in the carrier for about an hour and he had a perfect evening, no fussy period at all compared to every night since he was born. I'm not sure there were other variables that played a part in him being so wonderful last night, but the carrier may have helped. I didn't realize it could help reduce their fussy period.

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