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How to Comfort a Frightened Baby

by Susan Revermann, studioD

This world is brand new to your baby, and there are so many unfamiliar objects and events that could cause your baby to become frightened. As a parent, you are the number one person to whom she will look for comfort and reassurance. By teaching her that the world is safe to live in, experience and explore, over time she will start to develop a healthy feeling of security and confidence.

Comfort her by picking her up and holding her close to your body. Mommy hugs, kisses and snuggles are better than any medicine on the market and will usually reduce your child’s anxiety and fear quite quickly. Rocking back and forth or singing helps, too. Your smell, voice and warmth all contribute to the feeling of safety and security.

Stay calm. The American Academy of Pediatrics points out that your baby will look to you for comfort and reassurance that everything is okay. Over time, her anxiety and fear over certain objects or situations may pass if you show her how to appropriately react during those times. Even if the event scares you too, keep as calm as you can for her sake.

Remove the object that is causing the fearful reaction. For instance, if it’s a vacuum or another loud appliance, turn it off for now and use it when she’s not around. Eliminating the object of fear will help reduce the feeling that there’s something to be scared of.

Offer a security object, such as a favorite blanket or stuffed bear. The AAP calls this a transitional object, and it can be used to calm a frightened baby. These objects are called that because they help a child make the emotional transition from dependence to independence. These are often soft, familiar and pleasant to touch.

Talk about the object that scares her. Even if a baby can’t quite understand the words, explaining the situation and showing her that it’s not going to hurt her may help over time. Touch the object softly with your own hand to indicate that it’s safe. Just don’t force her to touch the object, as this may cause more fear.

Items you will need
  •  Security object


  • If you have any further concerns about your baby's emotional well-being, consult her pediatrician.

About the Author

Susan Revermann is a professional writer with educational and professional experience in psychology, research and teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in psychology, focused on research, motivational behavior and statistics. Revermann also has a background in art, crafts, green living, outdoor activities and overall fitness, balance and well-being.

Photo Credits

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