Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Parenting

Font Size

Ways to Comfort a Crying Baby - Topic Overview

Comforting techniques often will calm a crying child if the crying isn't caused by pain. These techniques may help comfort a baby with colic, because colic isn't caused by pain. But if the crying doesn't seem normal or your baby seems sick, call your doctor.

First, check to be sure your baby isn't hungry. Very young babies usually don't eat much at one sitting and may become hungry 1 to 2 hours after a feeding. Feeding your baby might stop the crying.

  • Offer a pacifier for sucking. Sucking can help babies relieve stress without crying.
  • Try rocking your baby. Gently rock your baby, or use a mechanical swing.
  • Sing quietly to your baby. You may find that singing the same song over and over is soothing. You can also try playing music at a low volume.
  • Turn on something with a rhythmic sound, such as a fan that hums, a vacuum cleaner, a clothes dryer, tape recordings of womb sounds, or a crib sound-and-motion device. A vibrating soothing device, which generates white noise and vibrates the bed, may be soothing to your child.
  • Cuddle and hold your baby close. Touching, holding, and softly talking to the baby may stop the crying. You can also try carrying the baby around (in a sling or other baby carrier) while you are doing activities so that the baby is comforted by being close to you.
  • Wrap your baby's arms and legs snugly against his or her body in a blanket (swaddling). Be sure you don't make your child too warm.
  • Give your child a warm water bath if he or she likes to take a bath.
  • Try walking or taking your child for a ride in a stroller or a car. Sometimes a walk outside can change a child's mood.
  • Change your baby's position. Hold your baby so that you put gentle pressure on the belly. Try holding your baby with his or her belly over your lower arm and his or her head at your elbow.

How to use the techniques

  • Use one technique at a time.
  • Give the technique time to work. Try it for about 1 to 2 minutes before switching to another technique.
  • If your baby continues to cry for 20 to 30 minutes, change locations and try again. Sometimes nothing works. In these cases, consider placing your baby in his or her crib for a brief period (5 minutes at a time) while you stay close by. Then repeat your attempts to comfort.
  • When you find what works, use it most of the time or use it as the first technique to comfort your child.
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 18, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Ways to Comfort a Crying Baby Topics

Today on WebMD

Girl holding up card with BMI written
Is your child at a healthy weight?
toddler climbing
What happens in your child’s second year.
 
father and son with laundry basket
Get your kids to help around the house.
boy frowning at brocolli
Tips for dealing with mealtime mayhem
 
mother and daughter talking
Tool
child brushing his teeth
Slideshow
 
Sipping hot tea
Slideshow
Young woman holding lip at dentists office
Video
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
Which Vaccines Do Adults Need
Article
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
 
tissue box
Quiz
Child with adhd
Slideshow