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Calming Techniques for a Crying Baby

How to calm a crying baby

Let's face it, caring for a baby is hard work. That little baby may cry more than you ever expected. In fact, babies start to cry more frequently around two weeks of age. The crying increases and peaks in the second month of life. Some healthy, normal babies cry up to 4-5 hours a day.

The good news is that the crying will eventually decrease. That period of increased crying can seem like it will last forever, though. And listening to a crying baby can be frustrating, especially when it never seems to end. As a parent or caregiver, you have limited energy, patience and tolerance. It's normal to feel overwhelmed, helpless and possibly even angry by the constant demands of a baby.

Why babies cry so much

The first cries of a newborn baby are often music to parents' ears. However, as the weeks pass, this "music" can become grating and difficult to handle. This is especially true when all attempts to stop the crying fail.

All babies cry a lot during the first few months of life. Crying is the way babies communicate. While it can be challenging to distinguish newborn baby crying, as babies get older, parents can sometimes differentiate an "I'm hungry" cry from an "I'm tired" cry.

Babies cry because they are:

  • Hungry
  • Uncomfortable
  • Frustrated
  • Tired
  • Or even lonely

Sometimes, cries can easily be answered with food or a diaper change. Please remember, it's important to respond to your baby's cries. Contrary to old wives' tales, young babies cannot be spoiled by being picked up when they cry. Being held is reassuring and comforting when a baby cannot express herself any other way.

Although babies cry to communicate, sometimes crying can continue for a long time with no apparent reason. Crying can be a mystery and it can suddenly stop as quickly as it began. Your baby is not mad at you and not trying to make you look like a bad parent. Even the most loving parents and caregivers can feel frustrated by a crying baby, which is very normal.

Some days it may feel like your newborn won't stop crying. See tips on how to stop a newborn from crying and soothe a baby.