Calming your crying baby

We share advice on calming your crying baby
As i'm sure you're well aware babies cry, alot! Sometimes they cry because they're hungry, sometimes because they're cold or tired and sometimes just because they're new to the world and want some company. Having said that as a new parent it can be incredibly frustrating (not to mention upsetting) to hear your baby cry and not know why.

Its completely normal for young babies to spend up to 3 hours a day crying and as they are unable to communicate with you in any other way it's their way of letting you know something's up. This is especially true for newborns who have not yet learnt to coordinate their actions or to make eye contact. However, just like learning a new language, over time you will begin to understand your baby's different cries and interpret what they mean.

Just as adults find different things relaxing, babies do too and what may soothe one infant may not calm another. As you get to know your baby's personality you'll begin to learn what helps your baby relax. In the meantime here are some ideas you could try.....
  • Firstly check your baby isn't hungry and doesn't need a nappy change, both can cause your baby to cry and for good reason!
  • Being too hot or too cold can be incredibly uncomfortable for your little one so check whether they need one more, or one less layer by placing a hand on their tummy or planting a kiss on their forehead. On the same note check that your baby isn't sitting in direct sunlight or a draft.
  • Its a complete myth that cuddling your child equates to spoiling them; sometimes all a baby needs is to be near Mum or Dad so a reassuring cuddle can do wanders to calm them. Many parents find that carrying their baby in a sling caters for this soothing feeling of closeness but also allows them the flexibility to get on with their day to day chores.
  • Rocking can really help to soothe agitated babies as it helps to mimic the constant feeling of motion they experienced in the womb and provides them with a sense of comfort and familiarity. Try rocking your baby in your arms, in their pram or crib or even in a specially designed chair to see which works best.
  • Taking your baby out for a walk in the fresh air will do you both good; the motion will help to relax your baby and the exercise will do wanders to help calm and distress you too.
  • The feel of skin on skin can often help to soothe a crying baby so try taking a warm bath together or giving your little one a massage when they're particularly agitated.
  • Young babies can often be startled by the randomness of sounds around them but often find white noise incredibly soothing as it reminds them of their time inutero. Try placing a fan just outside your baby's room (so they can hear it but aren't in a draft) or set a metronome to a slow beat as this mimics the regular sound of a heart beat. You may also find the sound of a hoover lulls your baby to sleep.
  • Many babies feel more secure when wrapped up snugly in a warm blanket. You could try swaddling your young baby or investing in a sleeping bag for your older baby to see if this helps.
  • Lullabies have been passed down from generation to generation for a reason, your baby will love to hear you sing to them and this can really does have a calming effect. Click here for a reminder of the words to some of our favourite nursery rhymes.
  • Distraction can often work wanders to calm a crying baby so a colourful mobile, interesting toy or simply a look out the window can help.


  • In despereate times a quick ride around the block in your car can help to calm your baby, however you should try not to become too reliant on this one!


Do you have any tried and tested suggestions you could share with us? Click here to visit our forums and share your advice with other AskBaby members.

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what practical hints can you give me on baby massage for an agitated 4 week old baby please
by littlemiss78 18th May 2010, 5:15pm
I have found singing to him works wonders, try by all mean to use a sling that carrier.
by Mwazi 7th Sep 2009, 12:24pm
i have a baby who is one month old now, and what seems to work for me is snuggling on the sofa with my young man, and looking into each others eyes. It calms the baby down and also gives me a lovely warm feeling of being his guardian
by tinamould 10th Oct 2008, 9:20am

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