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Creating a Crying Plan for Your Baby


​​​​Babies cry - it is their way of communicating that they need something. But what if there doesn't seem to be a reason and you can't seem to comfort them? To reduce the stress that crying can create, new parents should make a plan on how to handle their crying baby, no matter what the situation.

Before you try to calm your baby, it is important to rule out reasons why they are crying:-

  • Hunger
  • Dirty diaper or diaper rash
  • May need to burp
  • Too hot, too cold or clothing is too tight
  • Tired
  • Sick or has a fever

Remember, it is never ok to shake a baby, not even for a moment. It is important to keep yourself calm when you're dealing with a crying baby, and a crying plan can help you be prepared and keep frustration to a minimum. (Read more on Shaken Baby Syndrome here.)

Calming Techniques for Baby

Knowing a variety of calming techniques can help keep your stress level down during a crying episode. Write these and other ideas down and put them in a place you can see them. When you're walking around trying to comfort baby, you'll be able to see the ideas, making them easier to remember.

  • Swaddle and hold them close.
  • Gently massage their tummy or move their legs to help with potential gas.
  • Turn on white noise, such as a fan or vacuum cleaner. Some apps for your phone feature white noises.
  • Sing to baby - make up songs if you don't know any.
  • Use soft, calming noises.
  • Rock baby in an infant swing.
  • Take them for a walk outside.
  • Place baby in a car seat and take them for a ride in the car.

Acceptable Relief Methods for Parents

Sometimes, crying episodes can continue for a long time. If that's the case, here are some acceptable methods for you to get relief.

  • It's okay to put baby on their back in their crib, close the door and walk away. Check on baby every five to ten minutes. Their crying may stop and, if not, you'll have given yourself a break.
  • During your break, do something that soothes you, such as reading, listening to music or just watching TV.
  • Have a support system you can call on. This can be a friend or family member who's agreed to support you or come and give you a break.
  • Close your eyes and take deep breaths.
  • Call your doctor if you think the crying is being caused by something serious.

Discuss Your Plan with Baby's Caregivers

Be sure to discuss your crying plan with everyone who cares for your baby. Get their buy-in and agreement to follow your requests. Ask them specifically what they will do if they get frustrated and their plans for coping. Remind your caregivers that they can always put baby in a safe place and walk away for a few minutes. Encourage them to call you if they become frustrated. ​

Newborn;Parenting Pediatrics