Crying: What you can do

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Learn about managing your baby's crying. Important tips, such as keeping calm, will likely contribute to making a considerable impact on how much they cry.

Key points

  • You can deal with a baby's crying by remaining calm, touching or holding your baby, following your baby's schedule, taking a break from your baby, getting some sleep and taking your baby for a walk or a drive.
  • Follow your instincts when it comes to responding to your baby's crying, regardless of what other people tell you to do.

Regardless of how much crying your baby does, it can wear on your nerves, especially when you are tired. Below are some tips on what you can do when your baby is crying.

  • Try your best to keep calm. If you are able to keep calm while your baby is crying, you will be better able to read your baby’s signals. Try to maintain your composure and speak to your baby in a soft, soothing voice when they cry.
  • Realize the power of touch. When babies are distressed, they often need human touch in order to relax and calm down. Touching your baby helps to reduce their stress level, and teaches them that they are safe. When they feel safe, they will be better able to calm down and relax. Try carrying your baby more, as this can reduce normal bouts of crying. Consider using a baby carrier or sling so that you can go about your routines as your newborn snuggles close to you.
  • Follow your baby’s schedule. For example, if your baby has a specific time each evening when the crying and fussiness peaks, try not to schedule activities at that particular time. Consider having your evening meal at an earlier time.
  • Take a break from your baby. Find a neighbour or friend who can watch your baby for a few minutes while you escape for a walk around the block. Don’t worry that your friend will find it difficult to take care of a crying baby for that amount of time. If you are alone and you feel like you are becoming too frustrated or agitated, try placing your baby in a safe place such as their crib, and escaping to the backyard for a few minutes.
  • Get some sleep. Try to grab a nap when your baby sleeps during the day, especially if your baby fusses and cries at night. If you can, ask a friend to come over for an hour or two, to watch your baby while you catch up on your sleep.
  • Weather permitting, take your baby outdoors for a walk in a carriage or stroller, or for a drive in the car.

Undoubtedly, you will receive a lecture or two from older, well-meaning relatives who think you are spoiling your baby by responding to their every cry. Rest assured that you cannot spoil a newborn baby. When you respond quickly to your newborn baby’s cries, you are teaching them to feel secure, safe in the knowledge that you are there to take care of them. When you pick up your newborn baby to console them, be proud that you followed your parental instincts, and don’t fall victim to the opinions of others who do not know what your baby really needs.

Last updated: September 22nd 2009