Caring for Baby

Soothing Strategies for a Crying Baby

Strategies for Soothing Your Baby

All babies cry — some more than others! It’s their way to say “Hey, I’m hungry, wet, tired, gassy, too warm or overstimulated.” Other times, babies cry for unexplained reasons. New moms and dads often want to fix the problem, but there’s not always a simple solution, and sometimes you just have to hang in there. (It does get better!)

You might notice that your baby cries more at certain times of day — in the late afternoon or evening, for example. Try to stay calm during this time and use a series of techniques to soothe baby (see below). Consider keeping a list of soothing strategies somewhere in your home. This can help you stay focused when you’re frazzled (and it’s helpful for other caregivers, too).

10 Ways to Calm a Crying Baby

If baby is fed, burped, dry and comfortable, try the following to calm him or her:

  1. Hold baby close to you and gently sway or glide in a rocking chair.
  2. Make shushing sounds (this mimics the sound of blood flowing through the placenta and has a calming effect for baby).
  3. Turn on a noise machine or static radio station.
  4. Swing baby slowly in your arms or use a baby swing for a few minutes.
  5. Sing a song and move together to the music, something that’s easy to sing again and again. (“Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or “You Are My Sunshine”)
  6. Distract baby with a noisy toy.
  7. Change the position you’re holding baby (facing you, facing out, side-lying).
  8. Put baby in an infant carrier and walk around the house or run the vacuum cleaner.
  9. Get outside and take baby for a walk in the stroller.
  10. Swaddle baby in a receiving blanket or swaddling blanket. Some babies are calmed by the pressure of a snugly wrapped blanket. Learn more about how to swaddle your baby from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

What if My Baby’s Crying Gets Worse?

Some newborns go through a period of increased crying that ramps up around 2 weeks of age and peaks at about 2 months. This stage of increased crying is normal, and usually levels off by 4 or 5 months.

What if My Baby Won’t Stop Crying?

If you feel yourself getting frustrated, it’s OK to take a break. Just make sure the baby is in a safe place (such as her crib) if you leave the room. Call for help right away if you feel like you might lose your cool or you’re worried about the health or safety of your baby.

Mother Baby Tea

Making connections with other moms can help! Join Mother Baby TEA (TLC, Education, Answers), a group that meets regularly to address the unique needs of mothers and babies up to 8 weeks old.