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Coping with your baby’s crying

Is crying normal?

Crying is nature’s way of making a parent or caregiver respond to their baby’s needs.  Your baby may cry to signal that they are hungry, uncomfortable, tired, feeling unwell, or if they just need a cuddle.  Sometimes your baby may cry for no reason at all.

We often worry that there is something physically wrong with our baby but often there is nothing wrong that is making them cry more.

Crying usually increases when a baby is a few weeks old and peaks at 6-8 weeks.  Every baby is different, but they usually cry less and less each week after they are 2-3 months old.  The diagram below illustrates this.

How do I settle a crying baby?

Check your baby’s needs.  Are they hungry or do they need a nappy change? If you think they are unwell you could contact your Health Visitor, GP or NHS 111.

Comforting methods you could try are:

  • Talk calmly or hum/sing to baby
  • Read to your baby
  • Make repetitive soothing sounds or try white noise
  • Hold your baby close to your skin
  • Go for a walk with your baby
  • Give your baby a warm bath

It is also important to look for ways to calm yourself and look after yourself.  ICON has information all about helping people who care for babies to cope with crying.  ICON shares the message:

  • I – Infant crying is normal
  • C – Comforting methods can help
  • O – It is OK to walk away
  • N – Never, ever shake a baby

This video shows the ICON resources in practice (this video was not produced by the Health for Under 5’s website and may contain adverts):

Further support

Your local health visiting team can support you with concerns about settling your baby and offer advice about how to cope with a crying baby.  There is a member of staff on duty Monday – Friday 9am to 4pm.  You can contact your health visiting team by calling 01296 838000 and following the options for your local service.

Useful links


This page was last reviewed on 24-11-2023

This page will be next reviewed on 24-11-2026