By Raising Children Network
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Is baby hungry, upset or tired?

Offer baby breast or bottle; hold her in a cradle position and gently rock and sing in a quiet, dark room; wrap her for sleep.
  • Is baby hungry? Offer her breast or bottle. If she’s fed in the last two hours you can try offering baby something to suck, like a dummy.

  • Does baby need holding? Try holding her in a cradle position or sling. Try gentle rocking, walking, whispering or singing. Try to keep stimulation low.

  • Is baby tired? Try wrapping her gently but firmly, and put her down to sleep in a safe place. Reduce stimulation by making the room darker and quieter. Try giving baby a relaxing bath or massage.


Is baby uncomfortable?

Check if baby’s nappy needs changing; hold her upright and pat her back; take her temperature and talk to your doctor if concerned.
  • Does he have a wet or dirty nappy? Check if baby’s nappy needs changing. If baby has a rash, rinse with clean water, gently pat dry and use a barrier cream.
  • Does baby need a burp or is he uncomfortable? Try holding him upright and patting his back. Check if he is too hot or cold and has comfortable clothing.
  • Is baby sick? Does he have a fever? Take his temperature. An average temperature is 37°C, talk to your doctor if you are concerned.

Keeping baby safe

Never shake a baby; if you are distressed, place baby in a safe place and take some time out; if you need help, call your local Parentline.
  • Never shake a baby: it can cause bleeding inside the brain and likely permanent brain damage.
  • Are you feeling frustrated or upset? If you feel you can’t cope, put baby in a safe place and take some time out until you feel calmer. Or ask someone else to hold her.
  • It’s OK to ask for help: if you’re having difficulty coping with your baby, call your local Parentline or healthline.
  • Last updated or reviewed 14-05-2015