Kansas City,
08:00 AM

Coping with Crying

Congratulations on your baby!

Your days are filled with a baby who eats, sleeps, poops, and….CRIES! All babies cry to let us know when they need something.

  • It can be normal for an infant to cry up to 6 hours each day.
  • Some babies cry more and some cry less.
  • Crying peaks at 4 weeks of age and begins to decline around 4 months of age. It does come to an end!
  • There is no need for alarm if your baby calms within a few hours and is relaxed the rest of the day.

Why is my baby crying?

  • Hungry
  • Tired
  • Too cold or hot
  • Dirty diaper
  • Sick

Your baby may just be fussy even if all their needs are met. Remember, crying is normal for a baby.

How can I comfort my baby?

  • Swaddle your baby in a thin blanket. This helps your baby feel secure.
  • Hold your baby as much as you want. You cannot spoil a baby.
  • Walk or rock your baby. These motions are like when your baby was inside the womb.
  • Talk to your baby.
  • Calming sounds like a vacuum cleaner, humming of a fan or dryer, or white noise machine are also like the soothing sounds from the womb.
  • Do not overfeed your baby. This can be uncomfortable. Try to wait at least 2 hours between the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next.
  • Offer a pacifier if it isn’t time for a feeding. You may want to wait to give your baby a pacifier until breastfeeding is going well.

What if the crying is too much for me to handle?

  • Take a deep breath. Count to 10.
  • Put your baby in a safe place like the crib. Put your baby on its back.

Walk away. Come back every 5-10 minutes to check on your baby.

  • Call a friend or family member for support.
  • Relax by taking a shower or bath. Exercise or listen to music.

What is abusive head trauma?

Abusive head trauma (or shaken baby syndrome) is a preventable. It is a severe form of child physical abuse. It is caused by violent shaking of a baby by the shoulders, arms, or legs. This may happen from shaking alone or shaking with impact against a surface. This type of head trauma is the leading cause of child abuse deaths in the United States.

Do you know the signs and symptoms of abusive head trauma?

  • Fussiness
  • Lethargic (more sleepy)
  • Vomiting
  • Trouble breathing
  • Seizures
  • Coma

What can happen as a result of being shaken?

  • Death
  • Permanent developmental delays
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Blindness

Being a parent is a big job. It’s ok to ask for help.

Call your baby’s health care provider if you are:

  • Still worried about your baby’s crying.
  • Feeling depressed.
  • Having trouble dealing with your emotions.

Your health care provided can recommend ways to help.

Remember, it is never ok to shake a baby. No matter what you are feeling.

No baby has ever died from crying. Too many have died from being shaken!

Call to report child abuse or neglect:

  • Missouri - 1-800-392-3738
  • Kansas - 1-800-922-5330


Learn more about the Safety, Care & Nurturing Clinic at Children's Mercy.