It goes without saying that babies cry… a lot. This is generally normal and something that many parents expect to experience. It is your baby’s way of communicating with you after all, to let you know when they need or want something.
More often than not, crying signifies that your baby is tired, hungry, or needs their nappy changing. However, it can be a little disconcerting if your baby won’t stop crying. Although a crying baby is usually nothing to worry about, it’s worth checking the following to try and find the root cause of their crying:
• Check for discomfort
If your baby is constantly crying and you can’t work out why, check that your little one is as comfortable as can be. In doing so, check their temperature to make sure they aren’t too cold or warm; babies who are under or over-dressed can quickly become uncomfortable and their crying might be a result of this discomfort.
• Check for illness
Crying can be a sign of illness when your baby is constantly crying. If your little one has been crying for hours on end, check their temperature to see if it’s higher than it should be. A high temperature, which is considered to be 38°C (100.4F), is a sign that your baby might be under the weather and crying as a result of this. In such cases, contact your baby’s doctor for advice.
Excessive crying may be a signal that your baby has colic. Colic is a term used to describe a baby who cries a lot but without a known cause. Although the cause of colic is disputed, it is thought to be associated with digestion or intolerances in a young baby. Colic affects as many as 1 in 5 babies and doesn’t end to last for too long, and also doesn’t have any long-term effects on a baby.
– Intense bouts of crying;
– Crying late in the afternoon/evening for hours;
– Baby’s face is red when crying;
– Baby clenches their fists, draws their knees up, or arches their back while crying.
Colic affects as many as 1 in 5 babies. For specific details on how to sooth a baby who has colic, head over to the NHS website.
How to Stop a Baby From Crying
If you’ve checked all of the above and nothing seems to be calming your little one down, try the following techniques:
The art of distraction can go a long way in breaking your baby’s cycle of constantly crying. By distracting your little one, you can move their focus away from their upset and onto something else, whether it be a toy, noise, television programme, or other.
2. Try to help them sleep
Babies who are constantly crying can quickly wind themselves up, but all of that crying is hard and tiring work. A ride in the car or pram is a trustworthy tactic for getting your little one to fall asleep. The motion can help babies feel relaxed and sleepy, and soon they won’t be able to fight off the tiredness! Hopefully your little one will then wake up in a much happier mood.
3. Try soothing them
Sometimes a little comfort from you can go a long way in soothing your baby. Try holding your crying baby close to you whilst gently walking around with them, talking to them soothingly. As hard as it can be not to, getting frustrated yourself can fuel your little one’s crying and make it even harder to get them to stop. Having a little comfort and attention from you might be all they need or are longing, so try to give them a few moments of undivided attention to see if their crying subsides.
4. Gently massage them
A rhythmic and gentle massage is a great way of comforting your baby to help them to relax and break away from their crying. Try rhythmically stroking or massaging your baby’s back gently to see if they start to settle down.
5. Consider their environment
If you’re in a noisy or sensory environment that might be contributing to your little one’s frustrations, try and move them to a quieter and more soothing situation. A lot of noise or flashing lights can be overwhelming for some babies, and removing them from this overstimulating environment might be enough to stop their crying.
6. Play a constant noise
When considering how to calm a crying baby, it might just be simpler than you think. You might be familiar with the concept of white noise, or a constant noise, helping to relax a baby. The reason for this being that babies are used to hearing these types of noises in the womb, and so hearing them out of the womb can be a great comfort for your baby. Hoovers, washing machines, and hair dryers are some parents’ favourites.
As parents, you will naturally start to understand the signals that your baby is giving you, helping you to recognise the hungry cries from the tired cries. In doing so, you will likely be able to know when your baby is okay or when they are possibly poorly.
For more baby advice, check out our other blog posts!