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How To Soothe A Crying Baby?

by Pratheerth Padman on December 17, 2021

All babies cry. A lot. 

The thing to remember first and foremost is that crying is your baby's best and pretty much only way to communicate with you. But even with that information, it can get a little overwhelming when your little one won't settle down, especially when you can't figure out why they're crying.

There are some time and battle tested methods to soothe a crying baby. But before getting to that, it is essential to understand what is causing your little one to be uncomfortable.


Why Does My Baby Cry and What Can I Do About It?

There could be a whole host of reason why your baby is crying. Here is a checklist of 8 items that would catch about 95% of the cases. Go through this one by one a few times when your baby is crying his lungs out, and soon enough, you'll have a razor-sharp intuition as to the "why" and you'll be soothing the child in no time!


  • Hunger - Basically everyone's first thought when a baby is crying. Oh, she must be hungry. Newborns nurse or take a bottle every few hours, or eight to 12 times in a 24-hour period. If your baby's crying, there’s a good chance she’s ready to eat again. Look for signs of hunger like lip smacking, bringing hands to her mouth and rooting to feed baby before tears begin.
  • Gas - This is basically a close cousin of hunger, since gulping down breastmilk can also lead to air being trapped in your baby's belly. There is fortunately an easy fix to this. Burp your baby after each feeding with gentle taps or pats to the back.
  • Wet or Dirty Diaper -  This one is pretty self explanatory. Imagine having to sit in wet or poopy pants the rest of the day and you'll know exactly what your baby is annoyed at. Quickly change his nappies and watch that frown turn upside down.
  • Sick - Sometimes, whatever you do will not help. In this case, there is a good chance that your baby needs the paediatrician. 
  • Too many sensations - From the second the baby leaves the safety, warmth and comfort of your womb, he is exposed to a whole lot sensations. This can easily overwhelm him, leading to tears. Retreat with your baby to cuddle quietly, away from people and noise. Sucking on a pacifier also soothes, or you can try swaddling her in a light blanket so she feels safe and snug
  • Temperature - Too many layers of clothing and your baby could be overheating. Too few, and she might be shivering. According to the climate outside and inside your home, try adjusting the number of layers on a baby till you find what works best.
  • Colic - Colic is not a disease or diagnosis but a combination of baffling behaviours. It's really just a catch-all term for excessive crying in otherwise healthy babies — the problem being, there’s no solution to it besides the passing of time. And it’s common, occurring in roughly 1 in 5 infants. Diagnosis of colic is usually based on the rule of "three's". Crying lasts for around 3 hours a day. It happens around 3 times a week. And persists for around 3 weeks.
  • Sleep - Babies need sleep. And a lot if it! Till month 3, babies sleep for around 14-17 hours a day. If she's crying, there is a good chance that she is fatigued.

Crying is a completely normal part of being a baby. Once we've accepted that, the next part is figuring out why they're crying. Different types of cries can mean different things that are bothering the baby. Figuring that out however, does take a little bit of practice. 

If you've tried every thing you know and the cries are showing no signs of abating, there is no shame in calling a paediatrician. Sometimes it takes a pro to diagnose what's wrong with your little one. Keep doing what you're doing and hang in there for a little while longer.