How to Soothe Your Crying Baby

Crying baby

One of the most stressful parenting challenges is learning how to comfort your crying baby. You want to make her unhappiness stop immediately. Here, we break down all the reasons why babies cry — and what you can do to help your child feel better fast.

What does a hungry baby’s crying sound like?

Cries from hunger are usually low-toned and repetitive, and you’ll generally see your baby making signs of hunger, such as smacking and rooting, before the crying begins.

Could a crying baby need to burp?

Yes. To reduce crying, burp your baby often during feeding sessions. A baby who needs to burp feels uncomfortable. Help the baby release trapped air by holding him or her in an upright position. Place gentle pressure on the abdomen as you pat or rub his or her back.

Is there anything to do about gas or colic?

Babies often cry because of gas pains. To help, rub your child’s stomach or move his or her feet in a bicycle motion. Comforting snuggles and a warm water bottle on baby’s stomach may help too. Some babies with gas and crying have colic. They cry for at least three straight hours, several times a week for at least three weeks. If colic continues, talk to your baby’s doctor.

Can a dirty diaper make a baby cry?

Yes. Some babies cry when they are wet or dirty. Others don’t care about this sensation. You’ll soon learn if yours does. If so, change the diaper as soon as possible.

What does it mean for a baby to be overstimulated?

Too much activity overwhelms many babies. First, he or she may look away. Then, the crying may start. Soothe an overstimulated baby by taking him to a quiet room. Rock them, feed them or offer them a pacifier.

How can you help a teething baby?

To help your baby feel better during teething, offer cold washcloths to chew on. Teethers chilled in the refrigerator also feel good to a teething baby. Some babies like vibrating teethers. You can ask your doctor about offering acetaminophen as well.

Do babies cry when they are tired?

A baby’s cry can take on a whiny tone when they are tired. At this point, it may be time to put the baby in the crib. He or she may need to be rocked. A pacifier may help the baby go to sleep as well. To keep your baby from becoming overtired, make bedtime in the early evening.

It’s normal for your baby to cry at least an hour a day. Don’t be surprised if your baby cries four hours a day. Try to fix the problem and soothe your baby as best you can. But know that some crying is inconsolable. In that case, snuggle your baby, and ride out the storm together.

Photo: Getty