As expectant parents we often imagine what life will be like when baby arrives — peaceful moments snuggling, blissful coos or quietly tiptoeing when baby is sleeping. It can come as a shock that a normal part of infancy is crying — and there can be lots of it.
Sometimes the source of a baby’s crying can be figured out: baby is hungry, wet or tired. But sometimes we don’t know why babies cry. There might be a certain time of day they cry the most, and it might be difficult — or impossible — to soothe them. The good news is this is a normal phenomenon that research has discovered in babies across cultures and the world.
First, it’s important to rule out common reasons a baby is crying:
Then, try these soothing techniques:
It can be heart-wrenching for parents when their babies cry and don’t stop. But knowing that all babies go through this stage can ease parents’ minds.
A baby’s crying can make parents feel helpless, frustrated or even angry. When you are feeling this way and feel you can’t listen to the crying anymore:
As part of our mission to have Wisconsin’s kids be the healthiest in the nation, we share the program Period of PURPLE Crying with parents and through our community work with the goal of preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome.
We often refer parents to this great resource that explains the characteristics of developmental crying and gives additional tips and ideas. It has helped many parents understand that although their baby may cry a lot during a certain time, there is nothing wrong with their baby or with them as parents.
If you are concerned about your baby’s crying, or if crying is accompanied by other symptoms, call your pediatrician.