How to Calm a Crying Baby
Check physical needs first:
- - Is the baby hungry?
- - Thirsty?
- - Need to be burped?
- - Too hot or cold?
- - Diaper dirty?
- Check for signs of illness or fever. If you think the baby may be sick, seek medical attention immediately.
- Rock the baby, hold the baby close, or walk with the baby.
- Stand up, hold the baby close, and repeatedly bend your knees.
- Sing or talk to the baby in a soothing voice.
- Gently rub or stroke the baby's back, chest or tummy.
- Offer a pacifier or try to distract the baby with a rattle or toy.
- Swaddle the baby with a soft blanket.
- Take the baby for a ride in a stroller or in a car seat in the car.
- Turn on some music or noise, such as a vacuum cleaner or clothes dryer.
Try each of the above for a few minutes before trying something else, or try a few together.
If nothing seems to work, it is okay to leave the baby in a safe place (like a crib or infant seat) and take time to calm down. Leave the room. Shut the door. Take a few deep breaths. Call a friend or family member.
Why Babies Cry So Much
The first cries of a newborn baby are often music to parents' ears. However, as the weeks pass, this "music" can become grating and difficult to handle. This is especially true when all attempts to stop the crying fail.
All babies cry a lot during the first few months of life. Crying is the way babies communicate. While it can be challenging to distinguish newborn crying, as babies get older, parents can sometimes differentiate an "I'm hungry" cry from an "I'm tired" cry. Babies cry because they are hungry, uncomfortable, frustrated, tired or even lonely. Sometimes, cries can easily be answered with food or a diaper change. Please remember, it's important to respond to your baby's cries. Contrary to old wives' tales, young babies cannot be spoiled by being picked up when they cry. Being held is reassuring and comforting when a baby cannot express herself any other way.
Although babies cry to communicate, sometimes crying can continue for a long time with no apparent reason. Crying can be a mystery and it can suddenly stop as quickly as it began. Your baby is not mad at you and not trying to make you look like a bad parent. Even the most loving parents and caregivers can feel frustrated by a crying baby. Feeling frustrated does not make you a bad parent or caregiver. It is very normal to feel aggravated by crying.