• Behavior
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Help! My baby won't stop crying

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Mother soothing crying baby

Nothing’s more heart-wrenching, or hair-raising, than listening to your baby cry and cry. And cry . . .
But there is hope. Here’s what you can do to help your baby, starting with figuring out the reason for the crying:

WHY IS YOUR BABY CRYING?

  • Is he hungry?
  • Too hot or too cold?
  • Diaper needs changing?
  • Teething?
  • Getting sick? Any fever or other signs of illness like stuffy nose?
  • Colicky?
  • Bored, tired or overstimulated?
  • Frightened by a loud noise or by strangers?

HOW TO SOOTHE YOUR BABY

  • Respond quickly when your baby cries during the first few months of life, which can reduce crying overall. This also strengthens your bond, which improves your relationship and health.
  • Play soft music, walk with her, rock her, hold her in a sling or front carrier, or swaddle her in a blanket as you carry or hold her. Car rides and soft noises, like running water, sometimes can be soothing.
  • Call your pediatrician if you can't soothe her or if she pulls up her legs or passes gas often. She may have colic, which is intense crying for more than three hours a day.
  • Calm yourself first so you can calm your baby: Count out loud to 10 or more; turn on your favorite music; phone a friend or relative for support or to come over and help out; write down your thoughts. Or reach out to Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies for emotional support.
  • NEVER EVER SHAKE YOUR BABY! If you’re stressed, place your baby in the crib and walk out of the room for a few minutes until you calm down. Shaking your baby can cause injury or even death. Make sure any caregiver knows this as well. Visit the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome for more details on how to handle excessive crying and the dangers of shaking a baby.
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