How to Stop & Calm A Crying Baby | Kids Clinic Singapore


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(Last updated: 13 Jun)

Crying in Babies

Mothers frequently feel helpless when their babies cry excessively and nothing seems to pacify them or make their baby stop crying. They do not know if the baby is ill, uncomfortable, afraid or just naughty.

Why do Babies Cry and How to Calm a Crying Baby?

  1. Hunger is the most common cause of crying in babies. A feed will help stop a baby from crying
  2. Thirst is another common reason. Babies who are fed strong preparations of cow’s milk formula tend to get thirsty easily. The weather has a part to play too. Offering your baby a small amount of water to quench his thirst will stop the crying
  3. Pain could also be a cause for crying in babies. A baby in pain tends to cry in a high-pitched gasping scream. It is often difficult to determine where the baby is hurting and what is causing this. Pain experienced by babies is often associated with:
Crying in babies
Hunger, thirst and pain are common causes of crying in babies
  • Abdominal “wind”
    Wind trapped in your baby’s gut after feeds may cause pain. Try burping
    him. You may adopt any of the following positions when burping your
    • Hold him against your chest with his head resting on your shoulder
    • Turn him over with his torso resting on your lap
    • Let him sit on your lap
    • Colic can also cause pain in babies in their first 3 months. Colic is an attack of abdominal pain caused by spasmodic contractions of the intestines. Although the exact cause of infant colic is not known, several factors such as excessive swallowing of air, rapid feeding, over-feeding, excitement and milk allergy are contributory factors. An anxious or easily disturbed mother can also affect the baby. To relieve the pain and calm your crying baby, give your baby a tummy massage and cuddle your baby gently. To help your baby relax, you may give him the pacifier, rock him gently or pat him. Leg cycling exercises are also helpful to sooth the baby and help him/her pass gas. Infant colic drops may also be given to reduce excessive gas in the stomach/intestines
    • Infections of the ear and throat as well as teething cause pain and fever in the baby. Medical advice must be sought immediately
    • Obstructions in intestines or stomach cause pain but they are uncommon. Babies with this condition may have a distended abdomen, greenish vomit and may be unable to pass gas/motion. They should be taken to the doctor immediately
    • Babies are sensitive to temperature. If your baby is cold, he will cry. Take him to a warm room or add an extra layer of clothing. Also give him a cuddle. These should stop his crying. When a crying baby is irritable, he could also be feeling hot. Take him out of his cot for some fresh air or change him into something cooler. If he is running a fever, seek medical advice immediately
    • Babies cry if they are wet and dirty or if they have itchy rashes. Clean your baby and change the diaper. Check the diaper area for rashes and consult your child’s doctor if there are any
    • A loud noise or a strong light that shines on the baby’s face may cause a baby to be frightened. A baby who is left alone in a dark room may cry because he is afraid and alone. Many mothers may not realise that even very young babies need company
    • From the 6th month, a baby develops his own ego and personality. He may show strong likes and dislikes and may cry when not given what he wants
    • From the 9th month, the child may show signs of jealousy. He may cry when he sees his mother picking up another baby. Excessive crying during this period is often due to the child’s need for comfort, love and security
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