All babies cry, and some cry more than others. But it can be hard to know why your baby is crying, what you can do to soothe them, or when you should call someone for help.
When your baby is crying, they might be trying to tell you they are:
- Too hot or too cold
- Trying to poop
- In a wet/dirty diaper and need to be changed
- Uncomfortable or in pain
- Maybe there is something scratchy on their clothes, or a hair or piece of string tightly wrapped around their finger
How can I soothe my crying baby?
Finding the best way to soothe your baby will take time. Every baby is different—some enjoy rocking or swaying, while others like bouncing. You may have to try a few things before you find the right one for your baby. Here are a few ways to help soothe your baby:
- Rocking or swaying babies who love rhythmic movement
- Bouncing babies who love more vigorous movement
- Burping to relieve gas
- Bringing your baby’s knees up to their belly to style="margin-bottom: 14px;">Swaddling helps keep baby’s arms still, which has a calming effect
- Singing softly to your baby
- Gently rubbing their forehead or scalp
- Playing white noise to calm and soothe
- Hugging and cuddling your baby, holding them against your skin
- Reading to your baby to distract them with pictures and the sound of your voice
Remember, it may take a few minutes for your baby to realize that what you’re doing feels good! Stay with one soothing strategy for at least five to eight minutes before trying another. That may feel like a long time, but it will give you and your baby a chance to see if they find it calming.
TIP FOR PARENTS
You can’t spoil your baby!
What if my baby won’t stop crying?
At around 5 to 6 weeks of age, babies start crying more than they did as newborns. This is sometimes referred to as the period of PURPLE (or peak) crying. Every baby is different, but increased crying and fussiness is very common in the early evening. Sometimes it might seem like your baby cries no matter what you do. This type of crying is normal. It’s also very normal to get frustrated. It can feel like you’re doing something wrong or like your baby doesn’t like you. Know that this isn’t the case. It helps to remind yourself that you’re both still trying to figure each other out. Learning your baby’s cues takes time. It’s okay to feel annoyed or discouraged! Put your baby down in a safe place, like their crib or bassinet, and walk out of the room for a few minutes. Once you feel calmer, go back to your baby. If you are unable to soothe your baby and you think something may be wrong, you can always call your baby’s doctor or reach out to The Fussy Baby Network for support, 1-888-431-2229.
When healthy babies cry more intensely, frequently, or for longer periods of time than usual, they may have colic. We don’t know why some babies have it and some don’t, but it seems to be an issue of maturation. If your baby has colic, don’t despair! It usually goes away by 3 months!
TIP FOR PARENTS
It’s very important to take a moment for you. Take turns with your partner or call a friend or family member. Listen to music, look out the window, or take a few deep breaths. It will get easier as your baby grows!
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