• Behavior
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Help! What should I do? My baby or toddler won’t calm down

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Man holding young child

In this article, you’ll find answers to questions like:

1. What are benefits of comforting?
2. How best to soothe?
3. Who can help?

Do you feel like fleeing the house from your crying baby or your toddler in the throes of the terrible twos?

Hang in there. All of your perseverance and abundance patience will be worth it.


Responding to babies quickly and keeping them as comfortable as possible helps to build trust and contentment, says Deborah Newell, director of Positive Parenting Program, known as Triple P, at Community Partners of South Florida, which is funded by Children’s Services Council. This builds the foundation for self-soothing and stability.

Just like us, the children we love may get angry, upset or frustrated when things don’t go their way. It’s important that people of all ages learn foundational calming skills to foster positive and healthy relationships for a lifetime. Even the most low-key parents need help managing family stress at times.

“A parent can cuddle, touch, smile and talk to a baby when he or she is awake and calm,” Newell says. “Changing positions and providing new things to look at reinforces your baby’s ability to enjoy quiet activities while awake and alert.”


There are many calming options to explore with children of all ages — and also for yourself. Let’s face it: Your stressed child can make you stressed.

“Try removing a smaller child from a stressful situation and relocating to a quiet corner to color, draw, sketch or journal to avoid escalation,” Newell says. “Deep breathing, counting backward, squeezing a stress ball, applying hand lotion, excusing oneself to the bathroom, washing the face, and walking away to a quiet place can all be very calming activities for parents and adult caregivers.”


Parents can reach out to local organizations for help with baby and toddler behavior. Start with these:     

• Deborah Newell, program director for Triple P, Community Partners of South Florida

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