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Why do babies cry?

Babies cry when they need a parent or a carer to help them. This is their way of asking for help. Babies can cry for many reasons. It could be their way of telling you they are tired, hungry, wet or simply cannot settle.

Experts suggest that after the age of 5 months a baby is more likely to be crying for a specific reason.

A crying baby is normal and babies start to cry more frequently from 2 weeks of age.

How to sooth a baby

There are some simple calming techniques, some of these may work and some may not. This can be frustrating for you, but stay calm and understand this is normal and this phase will pass.

Try the following:

  • Talk calmly to your baby
  • Stroke them rhythmically
  • Hum or sing to them
  • Hold them close
  • Walk around while gently rocking your baby, if you can go outside take them for a walk in their pushchair or baby sling
  • A dummy, bottle or sucking a breast can also sooth a baby
  • Give them a warm bath.

Remember not all of these will work with your baby but don't be disheartened, stay calm this will pass.

If your baby crying is getting to you put your baby in a safe and calm environment and just walk away. Once you are calm, go back and check on your baby.

Never, ever shake a baby it can cause lasting brain damage or death. Further information and YouTube videos can be found at ICON Cope - Never shake a baby.

Further videos available:

The Bury Safeguarding Partnership is supporting ICON Week 2023

This will be the third annual ICON week (25 to 29 September 2023). ICON week is here to raise awareness of infant crying and how to cope, support parents/carers and reduce stress so that we prevent serious injury, illness and even death of young babies as a result of Abusive Head Trauma that happens when someone shakes a baby.

This year’s ICON Week is once again focussing on sharing ideas and best practices. Many webinars are taking place throughout the week and are open to everyone. For more information and joining instructions, please visit Icon Cope - ICON Week 2023.