Skip to content

    Health & Baby

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Soothing Your Crying Baby

    Your Crying Baby: Meet Her Basic Needs

    If you haven't yet learned to distinguish among your baby's different cries, just start with the basics, says Sherry Iverson, Director of Women's and Children's Community Education at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho.

    • Feed the baby
    • Burp the baby
    • Change the diaper
    • Make sure clothing isn't too tight

    Make sure baby isn't too hot, or too cold. Of course, there are plenty of times when you can't tell if your baby's crying is directly related to a fixable situation such as hunger or a dirty diaper, or just expresses a longing to be held. If you're not sure, take a deep breath and try some of the following cry-stoppers, says Pantley:

    Hold your baby. No matter the reason for your baby's cry, being held by a warm and comforting person offers a feeling of security and may calm his crying. Babies love to be held in arms, slings, front-pack carriers, and (when they get a little older) backpacks; physical contact is what they seek and what usually soothes them best.

    If you're worried that you'll "spoil" your baby by picking him up to stop his crying, don't let this thought deter you. "This is simply not the case. Babies are just telling their parents what they need," Rosen says, observing that infants, especially newborns, thrive on close physical contact. "You cannot "spoil" a baby by holding it," says Rosen. "The baby has been used to being very close to you for 9 months, and it takes time for him to get used to the idea of separating."

    Breastfeed your crying baby. Nursing your baby is as much for comfort as food. Breastfeeding is an important and powerful tool for baby soothing.

    Swaddle your baby. During the first three or four months of life, many babies feel comforted if you can re-create the tightly contained sensation they enjoyed in the womb.

    Get your crying baby moving . Babies enjoy repetitive, rhythmic motion such as rocking, swinging, swaying, jiggling, dancing, or a ride in the car. Many parents instinctually begin to sway with a fussy baby, and for a good reason: It works.

    Baby's First Year Newsletter

    Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

    Today on WebMD

    mother on phone holding baby
    When you should call 911.
    parents and baby
    Unexpected ways your life will change.
     
    baby acne
    What’s normal – and what’s not.
    baby asleep on moms shoulder
    Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
     

    mother holding baby at night
    ARTICLE
    mother with sick child
    QUIZ
     
    Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
    SLIDESHOW
    Track Your Babys Vaccines
    TOOL
     
    Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
    Slideshow
    Mother with her baby boy
    Article
     
    baby in crib
    Slideshow
    baby gear slideshow
    Slideshow