Why is my baby crying?

The sound of your baby crying connects with your instincts as a parent, and can understandably make us feel very anxious! Understanding why your baby is crying can help us to meet their needs and make us feel a little less anxious when it happens. Babies cry to let us know how they’re feeling, as it’s their only way to communicate at the moment.

Here are a few reasons why they might cry:

  • I’m hungry!
  • I’m tired
  • I’ve got wind
  • I’m bored
  • I’m overstimulated
  • I’m too hot / cold
  • I want a cuddle
  • My nappy is wet or dirty

How can I soothe my baby?

There are lots of different ways to try and sooth a crying baby. Remember that not all of them will work for your baby, and not all of them will work all the time – it’s a case of trial and error to find what works for you. We know that trying to soothe a crying baby can be stressful but try to keep as calm as you can - they can pick up that you’re feeling calm and this may be enough to settle them. Here are some things you can try:

  • If you breastfeed your baby, try letting your baby feed
  • Some babies like a comforter (a blanket, toy or cloth)
  • Hold or put your baby in a sling so that they’re close to you. Move gently and talk or sing to them. Hearing your heart beat and breathing can help them to settle
  • Put your baby skin-to-skin for a cuddle
  • Rock your baby gently in their pram or crib
  • Take the baby for a walk or a car ride – the rhythmic motion and noise may help
  • Play some music - a CD, radio or cot mobile
  • Stroke your baby’s back firmly and rhythmically whilst holding them close to you
  • Lay them down – a rest may be all they need.

Remember that you know your baby better than anyone – trust your instincts and stick with it!

What have you tried that works for your baby?

If in doubt, check it out. Always contact your GP or NHS 111 is you are at all worried about your baby