Newborns and Crying

Crying can mean that your baby is hungry or needs a diaper change. It can also mean your baby is bored or lonely or fatigued. As you grow used to your baby, you will begin to know what each of her cries means, and you'll learn different ways to comfort her. Babies often have a regular "fussing" time every day, usually late afternoon. Instead of a steady cry, your baby may cry lightly on and off and appear restless. This is normal, and she will outgrow it as she becomes more aware of the world around her.

Soothing Your Baby

Here are some ways to try to calm a fussy or crying baby:
  • Feed her.
  • Change her diaper.
  • Hold her and rock her.
  • Put on some music.
  • Take her for a walk or a car ride.
  • Put her in a swing (a very young baby needs a lot of rolled diapers or blankets to hold her snugly in the seat).
  • Turn on the vacuum or clothes dryer; some babies relax immediately when they hear these sounds!

If you find yourself getting frustrated with your baby's crying, gently put her down in her crib or bassinet and take a break. Never shake your baby, as this can lead to a condition called shaken baby syndrome, which can cause brain damage, or death. If your baby cannot be comforted or you are concerned call her health care provider for advice.

Continue to "Sleeping and Safety for Newborns" journey to parenthood

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Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy and policy. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
Most recent page update: 9/9/2010