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?
- Too cold or hot
- Dirty diaper
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?
- Lethargic (more sleepy)
- Trouble breathing
What can happen as a result of being shaken?
- Permanent developmental delays
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.