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8 Ways to Calm a Crying Baby

Quick tips to halt the tears

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The more you know about why babies cry and how to pacify them, the happier yours will be.
Quick tips to halt the tears

Babies can’t talk, so they cry when they’re unhappy. Learning how to read your child and decipher his tears is the first step toward restoring the peace and soothing your cutie. This guide will help.

1. What's wrong: Your baby's hungry.

You can tell because:

A few hours have passed since her last feeding. She just woke up and is crying. She’s fussing, rooting (a newborn reflex where she turns her head to find the bottle or breast), smacking her lips, or putting her hands in her mouth.

To restore tranquility:

Reach for a bottle or give her your breast to start feeding immediately.\

2. What's wrong: Your baby's over stimulated.

You can tell because:

He’s turning his head away from you or other stimuli. He can’t settle down, whether he’s in your arms or not. He’s in a place with bright lights, overwhelmed in a new environment, or being passed around to too many people.

To restore tranquility:

Move to a calmer, more serene location. Dim the lights. Shut off the TV. Many babies also enjoy being swaddled in a thin, lightweight blanket; your health-care provider can show you how to do it. Being cozily wrapped can help your child feel secure.

3. What's wrong: Your baby's hungry tired or overtired.

You can tell because:

It’s been awhile since she’s slept. She’s rubbing her eyes. Her eyes are closed but she’s restless. Or her eyes are open and she’s irritable or fussy. The more tired baby is, the harder it can be to calm her down.

To restore tranquility:

Try swaddling (see above). And remember: it was loud inside your belly! You may need to pump up the volume with baby-friendly sounds to help her feel more at home in her new surroundings. Turn on a white-noise machine, fan, or vacuum.

4. What's wrong: Your baby has a wet or dirty diaper.

You can tell because:

You’ve checked! Or your diaper brand has a “wetness indicator,” to signal he needs a change.

To restore tranquility:

Change his diaper immediately. Continue to change diapers shortly after feedings or every few hours.

5. What's wrong: Your baby wants attention.

You can tell because:

She looks to find your face, hear your voice, listen to your heartbeat, or smell you.

To restore tranquility:

Get up close and personal—put her in a sling or face-to-face carrier, or speak quietly to her to let her know you’re there.

​6. What's wrong: Your baby has gas.

You can tell because:

He’s is crying and he’s just been fed. He’s pumping his legs, arching his back, or wriggling.

To restore tranquility:

Burp him to see if that does the trick. Or place him on his back, grabbing his feet and moving his legs gently in a bicycling motion to help him pass gas.

7. What's wrong: Your baby's distressed, sickor about to be.

You can tell because:

She’s tugging at her ear or pulling her legs up to her belly. She’s vomiting or has diarrhea. Her crying just doesn’t sound right.

To restore tranquility:

Check her temperature to rule out a fever. If you’re having any doubts, call or visit your pediatrician.

8. What's wrong: Your baby is stunned or frightened around people.

You can tell because:

His usual happy outlook turns distressed or fearful.

To restore tranquility:

Explain to visitors that your baby needs some time to warm up to new faces. Hold your little one in your arms and give him time to get acquainted around guests—in your presence.

Thinking about your child’s school curriculum, how do you view the current quality and quantity of STEM offerings (science, technology, engineering, and math)? Please select one of the following:

Parents Talk Back
Thinking about your child’s school curriculum, how do you view the current quality and quantity of STEM offerings (science, technology, engineering, and math)? Please select one of the following: