Family Development - A Caregiver's Guide

Coping with Crying

Taking care of a baby can be fun and rewarding.

But when your baby won’t stop crying, it can be upsetting for you and other caregivers. It is normal for your baby to cry. The average newborn cries two to three hours a day, and sometimes more. Sometimes it may seem like your baby never stops crying; and all parents find it hard to cope with non-stop crying.

  • Crying happens most often in the evenings
  • Crying may start or stop without any clear reason
  • Crying may not stop no matter what you do
  • Your baby’s crying will not harm him or her

It may seem like your baby cries more than others, but ALL babies cry a lot. You can try the following things to help soothe your baby:

  • Check your baby’s basic needs: feed, burp or change baby’s diaper if needed
  • Make sure your baby’s clothing is not too tight, too hot, too cold, etc.
  • Offer your baby a pacifier, but never force it

All babies cry, often without any known cause. If your baby is warm, dry and well-fed but still won’t stop crying; try these tips for soothing babies:

  • Gently rock your baby in a rocking chair or in your arms
  • Softly pat your baby on the back
  • Sing or talk softly to your baby
  • Play soft music
  • Take your baby for a walk in the stroller
  • Give your baby a warm bath

Ways to handle your frustration when your baby is crying:

  • First, put your baby in a crib, make sure the baby is safe, and close the door; check on the baby every 5–10 minutes
  • Take a bath or shower, exercise or play music
  • Call a trusted friend, relative, or neighbor and ask them to come over to watch the baby and give you a break
  • Sit down, close your eyes and take 20 deep breaths
  • Think about how much you love your baby

Dealing with a crying baby can be very stressful, but NEVER SHAKE YOUR BABY! Shaking a baby can cause blindness, brain damage or even death. If you are feeling overwhelmed, it is important to reach out for support. Ask a family member or trusted friend to watch the baby and give you a break.