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 crying baby:
WHY IS YOUR BABY CRYING?
- Is he hungry?
- Too hot or too cold?
- Does her diaper needs changing?
- Could he be teething?
- Is he getting sick? Does he have a fever or other signs of illness (stuffy nose)?
- Is she colicky?
- Is she bored, tired, or overstimulated?
- Could he be 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. If you respond quickly to your baby's cries, she may cry less overall. This also helps create a strong bond between the two of you, which is better for your overall relationship - and health.
- To soothe your baby, 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 baby's medical provider if you can't soothe her or if she pulls up her legs or passes gas often. She may have colic (intense crying for more than three hours a day).
- Calm yourself in order to 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; call your baby’s doctor. Or reach out to Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies for emotional support.
- NEVER EVER SHAKE YOUR BABY! Babies cry a lot. If you’re stressed, place your baby in his crib and walk out of the room for a few minutes until you can calm down. Shaking your baby can seriously injure or even kill him. Make sure any caregiver knows this as well. For more information from the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome on how to handle excessive crying, and the dangers of shaking a baby, click here. March of Dimes also provides helpful information on how to soothe your baby. For more, click here.