Helping Your Baby Sleep

Babies cry. A healthy, normal newborn cries for a total of 2-3 hours each day during the first 7 weeks. A baby's cry tells you that she is cold, hot, hungry, tired, uncomfortable, or lonesome. Studies have shown that babies who are held more cry less than babies who are attended to only when they cry.

Things to Try When Babies Cry

  • Cradle and rock baby in your arms or in an infant swing (newborns often prefer the type that swings side-to-side vs. front to back).
  • Check baby's temperature.
  • Feed, burp and change the diaper.
  • Change positions.
  • Cuddle.
  • Walk or dance around the room with baby.
  • Take baby in a stroller.
  • Take a drive in the car (in a car seat).
  • Turn on ambient sounds like a fan or white-noise.
  • Turn on music.
  • Singing, talking.
  • Offering a pacifier or breast for "comfort" sucking.

Different things above will work at different times. If nothing seems to work, try placing your baby in a crib and see if he can settle himself. Check on baby at least every 5 to 10 minutes. Also, a fussy baby may calm and relax under a gentle massage from you. You may wish to register for an infant massage class.

How to Stop a Crying Baby


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Settling Your Nerves

Warning! Don't ever shake your baby because she's crying. Even mild shaking can cause seizures, bleeding, mental retardation, brain swelling and damage, blindness and death.

While baby tries to settle down, so can you! Try the following strategies:

  • Breathe deeply and slowly. Remember that you & your baby are learning about each-other; this will get easier with time.
  • Give baby to your partner.
  • Call a friend or relative to come help.
  • Listen to music that is calming to you.
  • If you're losing your temper or getting angry, give yourself a "Time-Out." Put your baby safely in the crib and go to another room for 5-10 minutes. Use the telephone, and call a partner, a friend, a relative, or a local anger-management resource.

Remember: Asking for help is a sign of strength.

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