A baby crying.
Crying can be a sign of hunger and a dirty diaper.

How to Make a Baby Stop Crying

All parents know how distressing it is when their baby is crying. This is especially true when the crying is continuous or does not have an obvious cause. In this article, we explore some of the common reasons why babies cry so much, plus ten healthy ways for how to make a baby stop crying.

Why Do Babies Cry?

Crying is a baby’s primary form of communication. It is how they let you know that there is something that they want or need. Some of the most common reasons that babies cry includes:

  • Hunger
  • Tiredness
  • Needing a diaper change
  • Being too hot or cold
  • Boredom
  • Overstimulation
  • Gas
  • Illness

A baby’s crying usually peaks at seven weeks. From this point onward, it tends to reduce gradually as the baby gets older. However, some babies cry more than others and some cry more at certain times of day. As any parent will know, once a baby starts crying, it can be hard to make them stop.

Methods to Make Your Baby Stop Crying

A crying baby can be stressful, especially if you are already tired and overwhelmed. Therefore, you will want to find a way to make them stop as quickly as possible. Here are some healthy ways to make your baby stop crying.

Feed Them

One of the most common reasons for a baby crying is hunger. Try feeding your baby when they cry, even if it seems not long since their last feed. Babies have small stomachs and need to feed very frequently.

If your baby cries during feeding, check their position and your technique. For breastfed babies, make sure they are properly latched onto your nipple.

Also, ensure that their head is slightly tilted back so that they can breathe through their nose while feeding. For bottle-fed babies, try using a different teat.

You will also need to burp your baby during and after feeding. This will prevent trapped gas, which causes your baby discomfort and leads to more crying.

Check Their Diaper

A wet or soiled diaper feels uncomfortable and can make your baby cry. Check their diaper regularly and change it as soon as necessary. You should also check that your baby’s diaper is not too tight as this can cause pain and crying.

Soothe Your Baby

Sometimes, your baby just wants to be soothed. Try holding them close to your body, talking or singing gently while rocking them back and forth. A gentle swaying motion helps to calm a baby’s nervous system and allows them to relax.

Some babies find music soothing, while others enjoy being rocked in a stroller. Many babies find it easier to fall asleep while out walking or taking a trip in the car. Getting to know your baby’s preferences will help you to stop them crying more quickly whenever they start.

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Check Their Temperature

Sometimes babies cry when they are too hot or cold. Check their temperature by placing a hand on their tummy or the back of their neck. If you baby is running a fever, they could be crying because they are sick. Otherwise they might just be uncomfortable and need you to make some adjustments.

An easy way to control a baby’s temperature is by layering clothing and blankets. This makes it much easier to add or remove layers and keep your baby comfortable.

Let Them Rest

Babies can become overstimulated by being out and about or having too many visitors. Try lying them down in a dark, quiet room and see whether they calm down.

Some parents swear by using white noise to block out background sounds that can disturb a baby. This could be a fan, a vacuum, or a washing machine. You can also download a white noise app on your phone. These sounds are very soothing to babies as they replicate what they hear inside the womb.

Check Their Clothing

Babies may cry as a result of clothing that is too tight. Check that your baby’s clothing fits well and is not pinching them anywhere. You could also try cutting out scratchy labels that might irritate the skin.

Massage Them

Massaging your baby can be extremely calming. Try leaning them against your chest or lying them face-down on your lap and stroking their back in long, smooth strokes. A gentle abdominal massage can be especially helpful for babies with colic. Be sure to massage in a clockwise direction to mimic the digestive flow.

Try Swaddling

Swaddling a baby can help them to feel safe and secure, which may help to prevent crying. Lay a square blanket on the bed or floor so that one corner is at the top in a diamond shape. Fold over the top corner and lie your baby with their neck on top of the fold.

Next, fold over the left side of the blanket, followed by the bottom. Finally, wrap the right side of the blanket around your baby and tuck in.

Learn to Understand

Your baby’s cries will change in pitch, loudness and intensity, depending on what they need. Pay attention to your baby’s different cries and body language to try and understand them. Over time, you should be able to recognize your baby’s different cries and respond to them more efficiently.

Look After Yourself

If you are feeling frazzled and frustrated, your baby will pick up on this. Look after yourself by accepting any help that is offered and taking breaks as often as you can. If your baby is driving you crazy with crying, put them down in a safe place and step away for 10 minutes. Even this small act could be enough to make you feel more able to cope.

It is essential never to shake your baby to stop them crying. Doing this can damage the blood vessels in the brain, leading to seizures, blindness, brain damage, or death. If you are feeling totally overwhelmed, depressed, or finding it hard to bond with your baby, see a doctor. These feelings are very common and there is no shame in asking for help.