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Crying (Ages 0-2)

Crying does not mean your baby is angry with you.

Crying is normal. Some babies cry more than others. Babies cry because they:

  • are hungry
  • need a clean diaper
  • want to be comforted
  • are stressed
  • feel sick

Crying does not mean your baby is angry with you. Your baby is not being bad when she cries.

Why Babies Cry

Sometimes it is hard to know why your baby is crying. If you can figure out the cause, it will help you know how to calm your baby.

This list might help you. You can add reasons as you learn about your baby.

  • Hungry
  • Dirty or wet diaper
  • Diaper is too tight or pinching
  • Tired
  • Diaper rash
  • Wants to be held
  • Frustrated
  • Needs to be burped
  • Too hot or too cold
  • Gas or constipation
  • Clothes are uncomfortable
  • Too much noise or activity
  • Sick
  • Wants to be with you
  • Needs a rest or quiet time
  • Other reasons

Calming Your Baby

Your baby may not be calmed the same way each time. You might have to try different things. You can use these ideas to help calm your baby.

  • Burp your baby after he has eaten.
  • Change your baby’s diaper.
  • Feed your baby.
  • Gently rock your baby.
  • Give your baby a warm bath.
  • Massage your baby’s back.
  • Offer your baby his favourite toy.
  • Sing or hum to your baby.
  • Snuggle your baby close to your chest (skin to skin is best)
  • Take your baby for a walk.
  • Take your baby for a car ride.
  • Walk and gently bounce your baby.
  • Wrap or swaddle your baby in a soft blanket.
  • Run a washing machine, dryer, or white noise machine. Be sure the noise is not too loud.

You may feel anxious or frustrated if you cannot calm your baby.

You may feel anxious or frustrated if you cannot calm your baby. These feelings are normal. Be gentle with yourself and your baby. Plan ahead. How will you deal with these feelings when they come up? If your baby is in a safe place, take a break and leave the room for a few minutes to calm yourself.

Shaking a Baby

Never shake your baby. Your baby has weak neck muscles and a heavy head. Even a few seconds of shaking can cause serious damage like:

  • paralysis
  • developmental delays
  • seizures
  • movement and coordination problems
  • learning problems
  • blindness
  • brain damage
  • death

It only takes a few seconds to cause brain damage that lasts a lifetime.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, make sure that your baby is safe and then take a break. Do something that will help you relax. Ask someone for help if you need it.


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