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Why is Your Baby Crying? Tips to Soothe Your Baby

By Lisa Hayden / August 30, 2020
Tips to Soothe Your Baby

Why is Your Baby Crying? Tips to Soothe Your Baby

Babies have a reputation of being criers. If you ask many people, they think that babies cry all the time. The truth is, crying is the baby’s way of communicating. If they could talk, then it would be easy for them to express their needs in words. Since they can’t, the only option they have is to cry when they need something or are uncomfortable with something. If they are comfortable and sated, you will rarely find them crying just for the sake of it.

Baby self soothing on an alphabet toy block.

How to smooth your crying baby.

The trick is not to focus on stopping the crying, but on interpreting the reason why they are crying. Once you find the reason, you can deal with it, and the crying will stop. There are a number of reasons for babies to cry. It is the duty of the parent to go down the check list until they identify the problem, otherwise a baby can cry itself hoarse.

Reasons for Babies to Cry

Wet or Dirty Diaper

If you had to stay with wet pants, you would be uncomfortable too. The fact that their skins are so sensitive and urine can burn means that they can’t stand dirty diapers for long and they react by crying. All babies are not the same, though. Some babies will let you know the minute their diapers need changing by bawling their hearts out.

Others? They can tolerate a dirty diaper for some while so be sure to always check their diapers. If your baby starts crying because he is in need of a diaper change, it would be pretty easy to detect and remedy. For new mommies and daddies, changing a diaper may seem a frightening enough task, but once you get the hang of it, changing them is quite easy. Be sure to have everything you need within reach before beginning with the diaper change. Prepare a clean diaper, wet wipes or wash cloth, baby powder, lotion and diaper rash ointment. Change your baby’s diaper on an appropriate changing table and be sure to observe safety.

crying baby

You may use a burp cloth over your baby to prevent spraying accidents to your baby’s face. Once you have untaped the soiled diaper, clean the diaper area thoroughly with the wet wipes or wash cloth. Lift your baby’s legs gently so that you may remove the soiled diaper and carefully slide a clean one under him. Don’t forget to apply powder, lotion and rash ointment as needed. Cloth diapers are basically changed in the same manner. Be sure to wash your hands after. For practical purposes, change your baby’s diaper every 2 to 3 hours, but don’t bother waking your sleeping baby just to change a wet diaper. The acid content of your baby’s bowels, however, may irritate his sensitive skin so be sure change the diaper as soon as he is awake.

Hunger Pangs

Hungry babies are angry babies. Hence, this is one of things to check for first, when your baby cries. You may look for other corresponding signs such as sticking their hand in the mouth and suckling vigorously or smacking their lips. It is important to learn to recognize your baby’s signs of hunger so that you may be able to start feeding him even before he starts crying. Other signs to be on the lookout for include fussing and rooting. Rooting is an infantile reflex where your baby will turn his head towards your hand when you try to stroke his cheek.

Ensure that your baby is getting enough milk. If your baby seems to be hungry all the time and does not seem to be gaining enough weight, consider increasing the amount of milk you feed him. Breastmilk is still always the best choice for babies. If increasing his milk intake still doesn’t help in his weight gain, consult a doctor for a proper advice.Sometime your baby just wants to suck. Babies will go through an oral stage in their development. In this stage, they will have sucking urges. They will often to suck or feed even when they are not hungry. Sucking urges also arise when babies are tired, in distress or in pain. Sucking gives babies comfort and pleasure. This is where pacifiers come into the picture to calm and soothe your crying baby, when he just wants to suck on something but not really feed.​


Have you ever been sleep deprived? Chances are you find yourself being irritable and temperamental. Babies are the same; they can cry because they feel tired and need rest. So why not just drop off? Well, they need a comfortable place to sleep in. The same happens with adults in that most people require a comfortable place to sleep in like a bed and will not just sleep in their seats or in noisy places.

If your baby cries from tiredness, it is important to get them in a quiet place and in a comfortable sleeping area such as a cot so they can sleep in peace. Alternatively, you can hold them close and make soothing noises, so they feel secure and nod off.

Practice putting your baby to sleep at the first sign of a yawn, at any time of the day. Sometimes babies could get so interested in everything that is going on around them and their excitement prevents them from getting some sleep when they need it. Minimize sensory input to help your baby relax and not feel as if he is missing something by going to sleep.

Additionally, babies will often want to feed when they are feeling tired. This is due to sleep association. Feeding to sleep can be a common sleep association among babies. When your baby learns to associate feeding with sleeping, he will naturally want to feed when he is feeling tired because in his mind, feeding is the way he goes to sleep. Learn to read your baby’s cues when he is tired so as not to misinterpret his reason for crying as due to hunger. Signs of tiredness or exhaustion may include clenched fists, facial grimaces, waving arms and legs, fussing and grumbling.​

Tummy Trouble

Gas and stomach pain are dreaded by most parents because babies cry a lot when they experience this. It mostly results from eating the wrong thing or eating too fast. This is why it is important to feed babies appropriate food, and once they finish their meal ensure that you burp them.

Other common causes of gas in babies are constipation, reflux, and stomach flu as well as lactose intolerance among other problems. . Gastric symptoms like excessive gas and frequent watery bowel movement may also be to lactose overload. Lactose overload may be associated with large, frequent feeds. It is a dose-related digestive problem that occurs when the baby’s digestive system is overloaded with lactose due to overfeeding of babies who are bottle-fed or due to oversupply syndrome in babies who are breastfed. Babies who are experiencing tummy discomfort will often want to feed in an attempt to relieve the pain, which will only further worsen the gastric symptoms.

For breastfed babies, the essential way to correct the problem of foremilk-hindmilk imbalance, which by the way leads to lactose overload, is to completely empty out your breasts during feeding before switching sides. Make sure that your baby has emptied out the first breast before switching to the other one by extending his feeding time on each breast.

For babies who are formula fed, extend the time between feedings from 3 to 4 hours during the day. If your baby is a quick feeder and can feed under 10 minutes, try slowing him down by making use of a slower nipple or by integrating mini breaks into your baby’s feeding time. Also, you may try to discourage bottle feeding sleep association. This can be done by ensuring your baby is awake during feeding. If you feed your baby appropriately and help them to release gas, but they still cry, you should approach your doctor for further advice.​

A good trick to deal with gas in babies is to give the baby infant gas drops and lay them on their back. Follow this with a little exercise where your push their legs to the belly and help them work out a bicycle motion. The gas will soon be out as they make a burping sound or as they pass gas. If you feed your baby with milk formula, they may experience constipation use a few spoons of prune juice to get things moving and increase fluids to overcome this.

Wrong Temperatures

If it’s too cold or too warm, a baby will be uncomfortable and cry. Generally babies like to be bundled up in a warm snug environment where the temperature is just right, but not too hot or too cold. You may swaddle your baby to give him a snug, comfortable feeling. Be sure to regularly check your baby’s body temperature. Always feel their bodies to get an idea if they are too warm. If they are, get rid of a layer of clothing or a blanket to help them cool down.


It is important for the baby’s circulation to be free flowing. When your baby cries, check their clothing and whole body to ensure nothing is excessively tight on them. Dress your baby in loose fitting clothes at all times to avoid such issues.


Teething is painful for babies, and they will cry a lot as they go through it. If you feel their gums, you will be able to tell if they are teething when you feel a hard numb protruding through the gums. Most babies get their first tooth between 4 to 7 months, but teething can actually happen earlier. There are helpful remedies you can use to pacify them at this time. You may give your baby something to chew on that can help with the teething process. Firm rubber teething rings or chilled washcloths may be used. You may also ease the pain by rubbing your clean finger gently and firmly over your baby’s gums which appear to be sore. Cold food like yogurt may be given to your baby, provided that he is old enough to ingest solid food.


Babies need stimulation in order to learn and develop but sometimes, it can become quite overwhelming and they may have difficulty in processing all the stimulation that they are getting. Exposure to lights, noise and too much movement from being passed from hand to another may be enough reason to make a baby protest by crying. Swaddling may be greatly helpful in calming and soothing your baby. Swaddling gives them a feeling of security. If swaddling doesn’t work, you may try taking your baby to a quiet place. Talk to him in a soft, soothing voice and let him relax.

And then there are other times when your baby will want more stimulation. Sometimes babies can become demanding and be very excited to experience the world. They would want to be held all the time and would want to be in constant motion. Agreeably, this set-up can become tiring for you. One way to handle a demanding baby is to wear him in a baby sling or a front carrier so that he can become part of your activities. Baby swings are also helpful in calming overly excited babies. Swings can keep your baby stimulated while you give your arms a rest.

Not Feeling Well

What every parent would never want for their babies if they can help it is for the baby to get sick. When you have covered all your baby’s basic needs and still find him crying, he could be feeling discomfort due to an illness. Check his body temperature to see if he is coming down with a fever. It is best to immediately see a doctor.

What should you do when your baby is still crying for no apparent reason?

Lastly don’t fuss! Many babies hate this. They prefer to be placed somewhere in peace. Once you ensure they are well fed, the diaper is clean, they are well covered and hold them or place them in a warm and comfortable place - let them be.


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