By Raising Children Network
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Check basic needs

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 with her, whispering or singing. Remember to keep the 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 your 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 he need a burp or is he uncomfortable? Try holding him upright and patting his back, which can soothe him even if he doesn’t need to burp. Check if he is too hot or cold and has comfortable clothing.

  • Is baby sick? Does he have a fever? Take his temperature. 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 becoming frustrated or distressed? If you feel you can’t cope place your baby in a safe place and take some time out until you feel calmer. Or ask someone else to hold her for a while.

  • It’s OK to ask for help: If you are having difficulty coping with your baby, call your local Parentline.

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  • Last Updated 04-06-2009
  • Last Reviewed 04-06-2009


9-11 years