Understand your baby's cries and find out how to comfort him.
How to Soothe My Crying Baby
Crying is the only form of communication that your baby has right now. Remain patient and you will soon understand what he is trying to tell you. Here are some tips to help you along:
Listen carefully to each cry.
- A hungry cry may be short and low-pitched. Angry cries sound angry. A cry of pain starts with a high-pitched shriek, followed by a long pause and then a flat wail. A thin whimper is usually dreaming.
- Try rocking your baby, walking him around or swaying gently from side to side.
- Try burping him to relieve trapped gas bubbles, or gently patting or stroking his back.
- Try a warm bath.
- Swaddle your newborn tightly in a soft blanket or hold him firmly in your arms.
- Play soft music.
Check his temperature.
- If it's over 37.8 C (100° F), it may be an infection. Call his doctor.
Try to stay calm.
- If you need a break, ask for help or advice. If no one is around, lay him safely in his crib for a minute or two while you catch your breath.
Never shake a baby.
- Shaking can cause blindness, brain damage and even death.
- Call your baby's doctor if your baby's crying persists longer than usual.
Crying Q & A
Why does my baby cry?
Crying is the only way your baby knows to react to his world and to communicate his needs. It can be a frustrating time for both of you, so try to stay patient through this learning process.
How much crying is normal?
The average 8-week-old cries for about two hours a day. You may notice this around the end of the day, when he's tired from all the stimulation. He may also cry more often because he is fussy.
Will it ever stop?
Around 4 months, as your baby's vision and motor skills improve, he'll become better equipped to handle stimulation and distract himself. And his crying may reduce to about an hour a day.
My baby's cries sound different. Are they?
Absolutely. By the first month, you will be able to tell which cry means what, for the most part. Ask yourself these questions at the onset of crying:
- Does he need a diaper change?
- Does he need to be burped?
- Is he too warm or too cold?
- Is he uncomfortable?
- Does he need attention?
- Has he hurt himself?
- Is he hungry?
- Is he tired or over-stimulated?
How can I help?
Aside from addressing his basic needs, you can bring comfort simply by being you. Cuddling, rocking, stroking, talking and walking around with your baby are proven methods.
How do I know if my baby has colic?
Excessive crying, especially in the evenings, could mean colic. Colic may be due to cow's milk protein allergy. Ask your baby's doctor about Nutramigen® A+®, a hypoallergenic, extensively hydrolyzed infant formula for the dietary management of infants with allergy symptoms and colic due to cow's milk protein.
Learn More About Nutramigen® A+®