Newborns are so tiny and fragile, yet so unbelievably loud when their needs aren't met. Although it’s difficult to anticipate and handle every need before the crying erupts, it is possible to learn a newborn’s cues for distress and discomfort. Once you understand your baby’s temperament, you can work to keep her happier and more peaceful, which should lead to a quieter baby.
Observe your newborn’s natural rhythms to learn his temperament, advises social worker and therapist Ellyn Satter, with Ellyn Satter Associates. A sleeping newborn might rise to a light sleep phase without truly waking -- and then fall back into a deeper sleep. A satisfied baby might become drowsy when he is done feeding. As an infant grows, he will stay awake longer after he eats. An overtired or overstimulated baby might become fussy, squirmy and refuse to maintain eye contact.
Feed your newborn on demand. When a newborn is ready to eat, she will appear alert and will root with her mouth to find a nipple. Newborns typically eat every few hours. Don't wait until she becomes hungry enough to fuss. This can lead to her gulping the milk, which can lead to spitting up and trapped gas, which in turn can lead to crying.
Check your newborn's diaper. Some newborns will cry when they have soiled diapers. Keeping your infant in a clean and dry diaper can help keep him quiet.
Prepare your newborn for sleep if you notice yawning, rubbing eyes and fussing, advises the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford website. Dress your newborn in comfortable clothing. Place your drowsy infant in bed to enable him to fall asleep without your assistance. If you wait too long beyond these drowsy cues, your newborn can become overtired and begin to cry.
Soothe an infant who has trouble calming. Swaddle your newborn with a thin receiving blanket to wrap her arms and legs snugly next to her body. Give your newborn a pacifier or finger to satisfy a sucking urge. For some infants sucking is comforting. Play music or provide white noise to help calm your newborn. Rock or walk her to provide soothing motion.
Use baby gear to help keep your newborn quiet. Place your baby in a baby swing, a vibrating bouncy seat, a child carrier that you wear, or in the car seat for a car ride. As infants are little individuals, some of these methods might work better than others for your newborn.