When Baby Cries

March 21, 2017

Cries Are Vocal Clues

Crying is normal. Babies cry when they have something to say. At first, all of your baby's cries may sound alike. Soon, though, you'll be able to tell a hunger cry from a fuss over a wet diaper. Do your best to respond when your baby cries. The crying may not stop, but at least your baby will know you are listening.

What's Going On?

Crying is a baby's way of saying "I want" or "I need." Babies cry when they're hungry, tired, or lonely. A quick rule of thumb: When a newborn is crying, offer a feeding. Cries can also mean your baby needs burping or a diaper needs changing. Sometimes cries mean your baby is feeling sick or scared or in pain. Babies also fuss when they're overexcited. Yours may just need a little quiet time.

Try a Tender Touch

To a baby, the feel and scent of a parent bring special comfort. Gently stroke your baby's back or head. Massage the arms and legs. Let your baby hold or suck your finger. Don't worry about spoiling your baby. Touch tells your infant he or she is not alone.

When Cries Don't Stop

Sooner or later it will happen. Your baby won't stop fussing. You'll try everything and baby will still be unhappy. Be patient. Staying calm is the best way to help your baby. Chances are, your little one just needs time to settle. Put the baby down for a rest and leave the room for a few minutes. Listen. Baby's cries may begin to wind down. But if the cries sound painful and go on and on, call the health care provider.


March 21, 2017

Reviewed By:  

Lesperance, Leann MD,Nancy BowersNancy Bowers RN MPH