Tips – how to calm a crying baby
All babies cry; it's an important way for them to communicate. During the first year, crying is your baby's most important way of communicating and being close to you. If your baby is full, dry and comfortable, they may just want to be safe in your lap for a little while.
They can sometimes get restless because they sense your own anxiety. If you're tired and have someone with you, give each other breaks. Allow your attempts at comforting your baby to take as long as they need to.
15 tips for comforting a sad little baby
• Carry your baby on your shoulder, with their head against your cheek. Resting on your shoulder can help soothe baby's back and tummy.
• Looking at something new can provide a distraction, such as trees swaying in the wind, a music box or a mobile.
• All babies began life cocooned in an increasingly cramped womb, so a pram or cot can feel too big or lonely. Closeness is often what is missing, and that's easy to provide.
• Wrap your baby in a blanket: not too tightly and not too warm, but when you're little it can feel nice to be comfortably wrapped up.
• A lukewarm bath before bedtime is often a good way to wind down.
• Put baby in a sling on your stomach or in a babywearing wrap. Make sure they're at a height where you can kiss their forehead. Your child will feel your warmth, be able to smell you and hear your heartbeat, and will be rocked as you move around.
• Talk, sing or hum – your baby knows your voice and hearing it makes them feel safe.
• Keep light and sound levels low around your baby. Some children are highly sensitive, and easily get overtired and overstimulated.
• Hold baby close to you when they're crying. Most babies love to be cuddled in tight.
• Gentle, rhythmic pats or gently swinging your baby's bottom and back are well-proven methods of calming baby.
• If breastfeeding works but your baby doesn't seem satisfied, try a dummy, comfort blanket or your little finger. Some babies need to suck more than they need to feed.
• Push the stroller back and forth over a small bump, such as the rim of a mat. This rocks the baby and may help calm them.
• Fresh air can help. It's a myth that all babies love being pushed in a pram, so just experiment.
Read the article Why is my baby crying? or watch our short film, which provides tips on what to do when baby is crying.