Why do baby’s cry?

Crying is something that all babies do, and it is the way that they communicate their needs to you as their parent. Babies will cry at any time during the day, but you might notice it more during the late afternoon or evening which can be difficult because this is the time when you may be feeling tired. 

It is important to respond to your babies crying as it helps contribute towards establishing a bond between you and your baby.

Will it get easier to manage?

It can be difficult to manage a crying baby because it is not always apparently obvious why they are crying. 

The more you get to know your baby you will become increasingly confident in your abilities to be able to read your baby’s cues, identify why they are crying and respond appropriately. 

How much crying should I expect?

It is normal for babies to cry for about 2 hours each day and this usually lasts for the first 3 months of their life. After this time, you will notice that the time your baby spends crying will reduce. 

Why is my baby crying?

There are many reasons why your baby might be crying, and you may want to consider the following:

  • Is your baby hungry?
  • Is your baby uncomfortable because their nappy is wet or dirty or are, they too hot or too cold?
  • Is your baby tired?
  • Is your baby bored?
  • Does your baby need a cuddle?
  • Does your baby have colic?
  • Is your baby in pain?

Be kind to yourself

Please remember that you are not a bad parent if your baby cries. 

The only thing that matters is how you respond to your baby’s cries and what you do to soothe them.

There are many ways in which you can try to soothe and settle your baby and you may want to try some of these tips:

  • Try offering a feed.
  • Try offering a dummy (if breastfeeding please wait until your breastfeeding is established before offering a dummy).
  • Try changing your baby’s nappy. 
  • Check your baby is not too hot or too cold. 
  • Check to see if your baby’s clothing is too tight. 
  • Offer skin to skin contact with your baby.
  • Try changing your baby’s position.
  • Pick your baby up for a cuddle.
  • Talk, sing or play with your baby but be careful not to overstimulate them. 
  • Play some soothing background noise such as white noise. 
  • Try offering a darker quieter environment. 
  • Try using a sling but remember to follow the TICKS checklist (tight, in view at all times, close enough to kiss, keep chin off chest and back supported). 
  • Try gently rocking or swaying with your baby. 
  • Try going for a walk outside with your baby in their pram. 
  • Try putting baby down and see if your baby can settle themselves. 
  • Try offering a warm bath.
  • Try stroking or massaging your baby but be careful not to use lotions and oils. Ask your health visitor for details of local baby massage groups within your community.

It’s normal to find it tough at times. 

Important note: If you are finding it difficult to manage your crying baby and you are feeling angry or frustrated it is very important that you do not handle your baby roughly or shake them. Shaking your baby can lead to your baby being seriously injured or even dying

It is important that you recognise your limitations as a parent and give yourself some breathing space. You can do this by:

  • Placing your baby on their back in their Moses basket or crib in the feet to foot sleeping position and leaving for room for 5-10 minutes whilst you give yourself a break. 
  • Acknowledge that you have kept your baby safe and reward yourself with positive thoughts. 
  • It is important that you do not feel guilty and remember crying babies can be exhausting and at time overwhelming. 
  • Ask for help from your health visitor if you think you need it.