*We’ve partnered with Baby K’tan to help carry you through the first few months of motherhood.

There’s nothing more stressful as a parent than hearing your baby cry and not knowing what to do about it. In my own first few months home with my daughter, I felt totally clueless. My mantra became “hungry, sleepy, or poopy? Hungry, sleepy, or poopy?” Most of the time that worked—and then there were some nights that I just didn’t know how to soothe my baby.

Since then, I’ve learned a few things to help calm the crying. Here’s 5 tried and true tricks for soothing your baby.

1. Keep her close. Babies are born accustomed to one environment—a warm body. They love to be close to you, smell you, and hear your heartbeat. Slip them into a soft carrier like the Baby K’tan and let them snuggle up against your chest while you make Nutella pancakes (breastfeeding cravings are serious!).

2. Take a deep breath. I learned this trick while sleep training my daughter. Wrap your little one in a Baby K’tan newborn swaddle, then hold her upright so that her head is on your shoulder and her torso is on your chest, then breathe slowly and deeply. It synchronizes her breath with yours and calms her down, and it can even bring your stress level down too.

3. Keep it moving. I had one go-to, never-fail strategy to get my daughter to fall asleep: when nothing else worked, I’d pop her in a baby carrier and take a walk to the store. She’d doze off and I’d buy candy and walk back with both of my prizes. A Baby K’tan is great for this, since you get the coziness of the wrap without all the fancy fabric-folding skills. The snug feeling and the sensation of movement sends baby right off to sleep every time.

4. Stay in touch. There’s a reason that hospitals hire volunteer baby snugglers—touch is extremely therapeutic and calming for mother and baby. It helps to regulate hormone levels, increase immune system and regulate body temperature. Holding your baby skin-to-skin, or even placing a hand gently on the body, can work wonders.

5. Have fun. People told me repeatedly, “Your baby can feel your stress, you know.” I would get so frustrated when it felt like nothing would ever work to get her to stay calm, and hearing that certainly didn’t help. Whenever I’d surrender to it, though, and decide to just have fun playing with her, watching a movie, or singing her a silly song, she would calm right down—and so did I.

*This post was sponsored by Baby K’tan. Check out Baby K’tan’s newborn swaddle here.

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