What to do when your baby cries
Some mums and dads worry that if they respond too quickly when their baby cries they’ll spoil them. However, research shows that babies who are responded to quickly actually cry less as toddlers.
Comforting your baby quickly when they cry lets them know you are there for them, and makes them feel secure.
Possible reasons for your baby’s cries
- They’re hungry
- They’re too hot or too cold
- They have colic or wind
- They need changing
- They’re in pain
- They’re bored
- They’re over-stimulated
- They want a cuddle
Most of these causes can be solved fairly quickly and easily and once responded to, your baby should soon settle again but if your baby’s crying seems unusual or goes on for too long, speak to your health visitor or doctor. If your baby is less than a year old you might also find our Baby Symptom Checker useful for practical tips and advice for next steps - and of course you can also chat to the Careline team too!
If your baby is under three months old and is crying excessively, they may have colic. It’s not possible to cure colic, but there are some soothing techniques you can try.
Ideas for soothing a colicky baby
- Give them a cuddle
- Encourage them to suck on something
- Wind them
- Play some soft music or sing to them
- Gently massage them
- Bathe them
- Carry them in a baby carrier or sling
- Take them out for a walk or a drive in the car
- Gently rock your baby back and forth
- Play some white noise like a vaccum cleaner or hairdryer
Crying in older babies
Once your baby is past the newborn stage, there are some other possible reasons they may be crying:
- They’ve lost their comforter
- They want company
- They’ve bumped themselves
- They’re teething
- Separation anxiety
- Newly developed fears
A cuddle can do wonders to soothe an unsettled baby if there is nothing physically wrong. If the crying continues or your baby seems to be uncomfortable as well as distressed, it might be a good idea to talk to your health visitor or doctor.
Coping with excessive crying
Although it may not seem like it at times (especially if they’re suffering from colic) your baby won’t cry forever! If you’re finding excessive crying hard to deal with, try to take a break. Ask friends and family to help by looking after your baby for a little while - even a few quiet minutes with a cup of tea can make all the difference. If you feel like things are getting on top of you, have a word with your health visitor. They’re there to help you and your baby.