Coping with a Crying Baby
Why Do Babies Cry?
Crying is how baby communicates with you and with the world. Sometimes they are telling you something is wrong. Sometimes they just want and need your attention and love.
A baby can cry for a long time even when there is nothing wrong. This does not mean baby is naughty. But yes it can be very frustrating for caregivers.
Often, you won’t be able to find a reason for your baby crying. Sometimes, there is a reason, so consider following the checklist to see if any of these things are making baby cry.
Meet baby’s basic needs:
- Cuddle baby
- Try offering baby feed again
- Change the nappy if it is wet or dirty
- Ensure clothing is not too tight
- Make sure baby is not too hot or too cold
- Burp baby (wind pain can be veryuncomfortable)
- Wrap baby safely in a light weight blanket
- Hold baby
- Is baby tired? Put baby down somewhere safe to sleep
If you are worried baby is unwell, contact your GP.
I’ve done all that baby’s still crying …now what?
- Stay calm
- Hold baby close. Massage their back. Try a sling or baby backpack if you have them
- Sing, hum or talk to baby
- Give baby a warm soothing bath, or take one together. Never leave baby unattended in the bath
- Put baby in a stroller and go for a walk or in a car seat for a short drive
- If baby still won’t stop crying, put baby in a safe place, leave the room, shut the door and take a break
- Call a relative, friend or trusted neighbour to give you a break. Don’t be embarrassed. It’s OK to know when you have reached your limit
- You are doing a great job by seeking help.
If you are feeling frustrated with baby crying, and think you might loose control
- DO NOT pick up baby!
- If you are holding baby, put him/her down
- Make sure baby is safe. Leave the room.
- Sit down, Try doing something that usually relaxes you. Take a bath or shower
- Call a friend or family, Talk to your neighbour
- Check baby often, but DO NOT pick baby up until you are calm.
If you are getting angry or frustrated with constant baby crying, its ok to put baby in a safe place, walk away and take a break. It is important to check baby is OK every couple of minutes, but it is equally important not to pick up the baby until you have calmed down. And the reason for that? When you are angry, the baby will sense that and is unlikely to calm down.
Some tips shared with our website from
Kati Knuuttila MN, RN, Shaken Baby Prevention Co-ordinator, ADHB