Why Do Babies Cry and How to Calm Them

babies cry

Hey there, new parents! Let’s dive into why your babies cry and some effective ways to calm them down. We’ll look at nine common reasons behind those tears and get some expert tips on soothing your little one.

Why Your Baby Cries

Understanding why your baby is crying is the first step to calming them. Here are some common reasons:


Babies cry when they’re hungry. This cry is usually rhythmic, repetitive, and low-pitched. Look for cues like lip smacking, hand sucking, or rooting (turning their head to find the breast or bottle). Responding to these signs can prevent hunger-related crying.

Need for Sleep

Unlike adults, babies need help to fall asleep. Newborns don’t have a regular sleep rhythm until around four months. If your baby is crying and seems tired, try swaddling, gentle rocking, or soothing sounds like lullabies or even white noise.

Stomach Problems

Gas is the one of the reasons for your babies cry. Here Baby feel very uncomfortable. If your baby is arching their back, pumping their legs, or rolling around, they might have gas. Additionally, holding your baby on their left side or moving their legs in a cycling motion can help relieve it.

Need for Attention and Comfort

Sometimes your baby just needs to feel safe and secure. If your baby is crying, they might just want to be held or rocked. Additionally, Immediate responses to their cries help them develop a sense of security.


If your baby is crying more than usual and has symptoms like fever, vomiting, or lethargy, they might be sick. It’s important to consult your pediatrician in these cases.


Teething can start as early as four months and can be quite painful. Look for signs like excessive drooling and biting on objects. Teething toys, gum massages, or a pacifier can help soothe their discomfort.

Dirty Diaper

Some babies are very sensitive to wet or soiled diapers. A quick check or sniff test can confirm if they need a change. So, Diapers with wetness indicators can also be helpful.

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Colic is characterized by prolonged crying in an otherwise healthy baby, lasting more than three hours a day, more than three days a week, for more than three weeks. This phase is challenging but temporary.

Physical Discomfort

Your baby might cry because of itchy or tight clothing, or other physical discomforts. Check for these irritants if your baby seems unusually fussy.

How to Calm Your Crying Baby

To soothe your crying baby, it’s important to identify and address the cause of their distress. If the usual culprits are ruled out, try the ‘Five S’s’ from Dr. Harvey Karp’s book Happiest Baby on the Block:

  1. Swaddle
    • Swaddling can make your baby feel secure, like they’re back in the womb. Ensure the swaddle is snug but not too tight.
  2. Side or Stomach Position
    • Holding your baby on their side or stomach can provide comfort, especially if they have gas.
  3. Shush
    • Shushing mimics the sounds of the womb. Don’t hesitate to be a bit loud, as it can be more effective.
  4. Swing
    • Gentle rocking or swinging can remind your baby of the movements they felt in the womb.
  5. Suck
    • Sucking on a pacifier or nursing can provide relief for many fussy babies.

When to Let Your Baby Cry

It’s tough to hear your babies cry, but sometimes allowing brief periods of crying is part of their adjustment to the outside world. The ‘cry it out’ method, also known as the Ferber method, is controversial but has been shown to have no negative effects on a child’s emotional well-being, behavior, or parent-child bonding according to a 2016 study. This method is usually recommended for babies at least 4 to 6 months old.

If you decide to try ‘cry it out,’ you can still help your baby learn self-soothing techniques. While you compose yourself, placing your baby in a safe environment, like a crib or playpen, is a good option.

Understanding the reasons behind your babies cry and knowing how to respond can make a world of difference in keeping your baby happy and healthy.