How to Soothe a Crying Baby

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How to Soothe a Crying Baby

A baby who won't stop crying can be a nightmare for any parent. Midwife Emma Laing gives us her tips to help soothe babies - and their mums!

Soothing strategies

A healthy newborn will want to exercise their lungs, and crying is their way of telling you what they need, so all new mums will need to get set for some noise!

Mum of two Laura says

"Remember your baby can't talk so crying is his or her way of communicating with you. Every baby is different - my eldest only cried when she needed feeding, changing or was tired, whereas my youngest cried and cried and cried!"

Hitting their peak: Research shows that babies tend to cry most between the ages of two weeks and three months, with crying peaking between six to eight weeks . Just remember, you're not alone and it's totally normal!


The good news is that no one's better placed to know your baby and what they need better than you, so once you start to understand what their cries might mean, you should be able to soothe and comfort them. But don't worry if it's not immediately obvious - it's all a bit of trial and error in the early days!

We've listed the main reasons babies cry, plus some simple soothing strategies to try when your little bundle is feeling out of sorts.

Cry baby

Common reasons why a baby might cry include:

  • Being hungry
  • Tiredness, or overtiredness
  • Needing a nappy change
  • Wanting a cuddle
  • Having wind
  • Temperature troubles - they may be too hot or too cold
  • Restless and bored
  • Overstimulated


Coping with colic

Excessive crying, often at a particular time of day, can be a sign of colic. Although everyone accepts that it exists, it's not known what causes it. Some doctors believe it is caused by waves of stomach pain, so if crying stops and starts this could be colic. Speak to a doctor or pharmacist for advice about colic. There are products that may help like these colic drops


Soothing strategies

There are lots of different things you can try to soothe your little one. If something isn't working, try something else and eventually you'll find the best soothing strategies for different situations, day and night! If you're planning on establishing a routine, this can help, as you'll be able to start tracking what cries happen and when.

1.   Breast is best

Hunger is one of the most common reasons babies cry. If your baby is sucking his fists this is probably a sign they are hungry - let them suckle at your breast for as long as they need to relieve those hunger pangs.

Remember: It's perfectly normal for newborns to feed every two or three hours in the early days, so sometimes you may just need to accept that not much else is going to get done.

2.  Yummy dummy

Dummies aren't also known as "soothers" for nothing. Some babies suckle for comfort, so if you think this is the case, try giving your baby a dummy. Remember to sterilise it first.

3. Rock-a-bye

Movement can help. Try rocking your baby backwards and forwards in their pram or go for a walk or a drive to try and soothe them. It might encourage them to drift off to sleep but even if not, getting out of the house can help you feel better!

4. Take distraction action

Find something for your baby to look at or listen to - this could be the radio, a CD, even the 'white noise' of a washing machine. Or try a musical mobile for their cot.

5. Close comfort

Mum of two Jess says

"It can be hard to stay calm when your little one is upset, but it's important for you to relax. It will pass and you being relaxed can help them too."

Hold your baby close to you, or put them in a baby sling and gently rock them. You might want to try singing to them at the same time, or sometimes just hearing your heartbeat can be enough.

6. Marvellous massage

Skin-on-skin helps you and your baby to bond so a massage is a great soothing strategy. Try massaging gently and firmly with massage oil especially for babies - maybe include it as part of their bath and bedtime routine.

7. Bubble-tastic!

In the same way as we can find a bath relaxing, so can baby. When their skin is ready for toiletries, try some bubbles to make bath time fun.

8. Do the temperature test

Your baby could be crying because he or she is too hot or cold. Maybe remove or add a layer of clothing to help. Remember, a fever is a temperature of over 37.5°C so contact your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns.

We hope some of these tips help make for a happy baby (and mum!) Remember, if you are at all worried about how much your baby cries, discuss it with your midwife or health visitor.

Soothing solutions

Don't try and go it alone, in conjunction with our top tips, use these soothing product solutions to help calm your little one.


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How to Soothe a Crying Baby

A baby who won't stop crying can be a nightmare for any parent. Midwife Emma Laing gives us her tips to help soothe babies - and their mums!

A healthy newborn will want to exercise their lungs, and crying is their way of telling you what they need, so all new mums will need to get set for some noise!

Hitting their peak: Research shows that babies tend to cry most between the ages of two weeks and three months, with crying peaking between six to eight weeks . Just remember, you're not alone and it's totally normal!

The good news is that no one's better placed to know your baby and what they need better than you, so once you start to understand what their cries might mean, you should be able to soothe and comfort them. But don't worry if it's not immediately obvious - it's all a bit of trial and error in the early days!

We've listed the main reasons babies cry, plus some simple soothing strategies to try when your little bundle is feeling out of sorts.

Cry baby

Common reasons why a baby might cry include:

  • Being hungry
  • Tiredness, or overtiredness
  • Needing a nappy change
  • Wanting a cuddle
  • Having wind
  • Temperature troubles - they may be too hot or too cold
  • Restless and bored
  • Overstimulated

Coping with colic

Excessive crying, often at a particular time of day, can be a sign of colic. Although everyone accepts that it exists, it's not known what causes it. Some doctors believe it is caused by waves of stomach pain, so if crying stops and starts this could be colic. Speak to a doctor or pharmacist for advice about colic. There are products that may help like these colic drops.

Soothing strategies

There are lots of different things you can try to soothe your little one. If something isn't working, try something else and eventually you'll find the best soothing strategies for different situations, day and night! If you're planning on establishing a routine, this can help, as you'll be able to start tracking what cries happen and when.

1. Breast is best

Hunger is one of the most common reasons babies cry. If your baby is sucking his fists this is probably a sign they are hungry - let them suckle at your breast for as long as they need to relieve those hunger pangs.

Remember: It's perfectly normal for newborns to feed every two or three hours in the early days, so sometimes you may just need to accept that not much else is going to get done.

2. Yummy dummy

Dummies aren't also known as "soothers" for nothing. Some babies suckle for comfort, so if you think this is the case, try giving your baby a dummy. Remember to sterilise it first.

3. Rock-a-bye

Movement can help. Try rocking your baby backwards and forwards in their pram or go for a walk or a drive to try and soothe them. It might encourage them to drift off to sleep but even if not, getting out of the house can help you feel better!

4. Take distraction action

Find something for your baby to look at or listen to - this could be the radio, a CD, even the 'white noise' of a washing machine. Or try a musical mobile for their cot.

5. Close comfort

Hold your baby close to you, or put them in a baby sling and gently rock them. You might want to try singing to them at the same time, or sometimes just hearing your heartbeat can be enough.

6. Marvellous massage

Skin-on-skin helps you and your baby to bond so a massage is a great soothing strategy. Try massaging gently and firmly with massage oil especially for babies - maybe include it as part of their bath and bedtime routine.

7. Bubble-tastic!

In the same way as we can find a bath relaxing, so can baby. When their skin is ready for toiletries, try some bubbles to make bath time fun

8. Do the temperature test

Your baby could be crying because he or she is too hot or cold. Maybe remove or add a layer of clothing to help. Remember, a fever is a temperature of over 37.5°C so contact your doctor or midwife if you have any concerns.

We hope some of these tips help make for a happy baby (and mum!) Remember, if you are at all worried about how much your baby cries, discuss it with your midwife or health visitor.

Soothing solutions

Don't try and go it alone, in conjunction with our top tips, use these soothing product solutions to help calm your little one.

Soothers & Teethers
Musical Mobile
Bath Soak
Room Thermometer

Read more like this:

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