In this article, we will look at how to make a baby stop crying and the top reasons babies cry.
One of the most frustrating and stressful things for new parents is figuring out how to stop a baby crying.
If you’re a first time SAHM, you may find it particularly hard to cope, especially if your little one cries a lot and you aren’t sleeping well.
While not easy initially, it’s important to acquaint yourself with what makes your baby cry.
It’s common to think the worst and worry that they have a fever or are experiencing pain. While this could be the case, babies cry for many different reasons besides being unwell. It’s their way of communicating.
If your baby doesn’t feel hot to the touch, appear flushed, or have any other symptoms such as a rash, excess vomiting, or diarrhea, chances are he or she is fine. Of course, if there is any doubt in your mind, take your child to your doctor or the ER immediately.
Next, we will look at some of the main reasons babies cry.
Top Reasons Babies Cry
Hunger is one of the most common reasons babies cry. If your little one is due for a feed, there’s a good chance that this is why they are crying. Other signs of hunger in a baby include them smacking their lips, or putting their fingers or hands into their mouth.
Rooting is another clue. This is the term used to describe when the baby turns their head toward you when you touch their cheek.
If your baby cries after being fed, they may have a build-up of gas in their stomach.
Feeding babies gulp, guzzle and suck, and in doing so swallow air. If your baby is squirming or lifting his or her legs upwards, they could have gas or colic, so be sure to burp them after every meal.
Signs of colic include the baby crying constantly for up to three hours at a time. To relieve colic, place the baby on his or her back, lift their feet up, and gently move their legs in a bicycle-pedaling manner. This should help to pass the gas and relieve the tummy ache this can cause.
- Diaper needs changing
Among the top reasons babies cry is that they need a diaper change. A soiled diaper is easy to detect, with the odor being a giveaway. A wet diaper can be just as uncomfortable as a soiled one.
A quick way to tell if your little one’s diaper is wet is to place your hand on the front of it and gently move it back and forth. If it jiggles, it is probably wet and needs changing.
Along with providing comfort, changing your baby’s diaper as soon as you can after it is wet or soiled will help to prevent diaper rash.
Tiredness is another of the main reasons babies cry.
The most obvious signs of fatigue in a baby are similar to those in adults. These include yawning and rubbing their eyes. Their eyes may also look glazed, they may have lost interest in their toy or what is going on around them, and their activity level may slow. If you notice these signs, place your baby in their crib for a nap.
NB: Be sure to place your baby on their back as this position has been proven to lower the risk of SIDS.
Believe it or not, even babies get bored, especially older ones. As much as you may want to, you can’t spend their every waking hour entertaining your baby. S0 come up with ways to help them entertain themselves some of the time.
Try placing a mobile over their crib, or give them a rattle, a teddy bear, or another child-safe toy. Experiment until you find something that holds their attention. Just make sure that whatever it is, it can’t be swallowed.
Vary the toys you give your baby or rotate them if their favorite stops holding their interest.
Excellent Video Showing How to Stop a Baby Crying Immediately
How to Make a Baby Stop Crying
As a mom, a babysitter, or a nanny, you have to be conversant with the cries and body language related to all of the above. You will learn to distinguish each in time, but sometimes your baby may not stop crying even after feeding, burping them, changing their diaper, or doing any of the things that usually work.
When this is the case, your baby may be feeling discomfort because they are too hot or too cold, or they may want you to hold them.
Next we will look at some of the best ways to make a baby stop crying.
- Make shushing sounds
The first thing to do when trying to make a baby stop crying is to make shhh, or shushing sounds. The baby will relate this to the whooshing noise they experienced in the womb. This is a sound they know well and find comforting. Make the sound soft to encourage your baby to fall asleep.
If you don’t want to make this noise yourself, there are phone and computer apps that will do this for you. Set the volume to be slightly louder than the baby’s cry. This will catch their attention and help them doze off to sleep.
- White noise
Another effective way of soothing a crying baby is to play white noise.
Put simply, white noise is a continuous sound containing varies frequencies of the same intensity. Examples include the sound of rain, the ocean, or a waterfall, among other things. These are available as apps, or you can find them online. Again, the whooshing sound will remind your baby of the sounds they heard in the womb, and they will often relax to the point that they fall asleep.
Alternatively, try running a faucet, or putting on a ceiling, desk, or floor fan, or even a vacuum cleaner.
- Rocking & Singing
One of the most simple and effective ways to make a baby stop crying is to hold them in your arms as you gently sway and sing to them. Sometimes, just the sound of your voice will be enough to relax them. Sway the child gently and sing them a soothing song. If preferred, you can play relaxing music at low volume and talk to your baby as you rock them in time to the music.
The intensity of your baby’s cry will, however, determine how quickly you will need to sway and the volume you should employ. If the baby is screaming, you will need to swing them a little more vigorously and sing a little louder at first to catch their attention.
If you find it difficult to hold and rock your baby for longer than a minute or two, there are baby swings that simulate this movement. Some even come with music. One I like and recommend is the 4Moms Mamaroo Baby Swing. A combination swing/bouncer, it gives access to various different movements including one which replicates the feel of being rocked in mom or dad’s arms, and several relaxing nature sounds.
Another option is to sit and hold your baby while rocking in a rocking chair.
NB: In no circumstances should you rock or shake a baby vigorously. Doing so could cause severe permanent damage, or even death.
Soothing a crying baby can be as simple as swaddling them before placing them in their crib. Along with helping to prevent SIDS, swaddling will make them feel cozy and secure. Snuggling in this warmth will simulate the feeling of being in the womb, and your baby will relax and often fall asleep quickly.
When swaddling a baby, make sure that their arms and legs are free to move and stretch. If their limbs are restricted, the won’t be able to change position so they will be uncomfortable and they won’t sleep well.
You can also try holding your child on their side or stomach or placing them in their crib in this position. Do not leave them like that though. Always put them on their back to sleep.
NB Make sure that the fabric you swaddle the baby in is not too heavy as overheating will put them at a greater risk for SIDS.
- Provide something to suck on
One of the most effective ways to make a baby stop crying is to give them something to suck on. This works particularly well for babies younger than 7 or 8 months as at that age they typically have a strong urge to suck.
Let the baby suck on your finger, a pacifier, or their bottle. This will sometimes be all he or she needs to relax and stop crying immediately.
You will need to start weaning them off this activity when they get to about eight months old, and this will be more difficult to do if they spend hours a day sucking on something. For this reason, you should remove the item from your babies mouth after they’ve stopped crying for a while.
- Change their environment
A change of environment can go a long way towards soothing a crying baby. Try changing the direction of their crib, or move it to another spot. In the early stages, babies can’t see much of anything that is over 12 inches away from them. Still, they can ascertain shapes, colors, and movement, and varying these can help to keep them occupied.
Try taking your baby with you as you go from room-to-room doing housework.
Taking them out in their stroller, or for a drive, can also work. The motion that comes being pushed in a stroller, the car’s engine, or even being carried, is enough to settle some babies.
If you are pressed for time, try taking them outside, even if only into your backyard. The combination of a different setting and fresh air can make a baby stop crying almost immediately.
- Warm water
Like fresh air, warm water can soothe and make a baby stop crying very quickly.
Depending on the situation, you can hold them in their bath, or place them in a safe place with a towel beneath them and squeeze warm water over them with a washcloth. You can even take your baby into the shower with you. Be sure that the water isn’t on full force and that it’s not too hot. Also, make sure that the floor of the shower is slip-proof.
When to see a Doctor
If you’ve tried everything and your baby won’t settle, and they cry for hours at a time, see a doctor.
How to Make a Baby Stop Crying Summary
With time, you will become familiar with the reasons your baby cries and which strategies work to calm them. Try not to stress about it. Things will get better.
Don’t feel guilty if you need to take a timeout. If no one is there to watch the baby for you, put them into their crib, bassinet, or another safe place and close the door for a few minutes. Take some deep breaths. have a cup of tea, and regroup.
If you’re finding it difficult to control your emotions or you’re having a hard time coping with parenthood, ask your child’s health care provider for a referral to a counselor.