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Tips For Responding To Crying

Courtesy Of
May 31, 2017


Observe Learn Respond
  • Are there patterns to your baby's crying?
  • What usually prompts your baby's crying?
  • What works to console your child?
  • Could she be sick, tired or hungry?
  • Does she need a break?
  • Is there too much light or noise?
  • Try swaddling, rocking or talking softly
  • Give your baby a break in a safe place
  • Get childcare help if you need a break


Crying, difficult as it is to hear, is a normal way babies communicate hunger, discomfort, distress, or a need for your attention.

Most newborns reach a crying peak at about 6 weeks. Then their crying starts to decrease. Based on a typical crying pattern, babies usually only cry for about an hour a day after 3 months. But some babies cry more than average and/or may be very difficult to soothe and settle, due to their temperament or developmental stage.

There is not just one right way to soothe a baby. Some babies love to be rocked when upset. Others find that too stimulating and prefer to be walked slowly while in a baby carrier, snuggled close to a parent's chest. And some babies are calmed by being put down in a safe place where they can take a break from the intensity of the world.

Learn more

Coping with Colic

And check out ZERO TO THREE's resources

Explore other child behaviors:

Aggressive Behavior



Sleep Challenges


ZERO TO THREE is a national, nonprofit organization that informs, trains, and supports professionals, policymakers, and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers.

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