Why is baby crying: hungry, upset, tired?
Is baby hungry? Offer the breast or a bottle. Or baby might just want to suck. Offer newborns a dummy, or help older babies find their own fingers.
Is baby upset? Comfort baby by holding them in the cradle position or a sling. Try gentle rocking, walking, talking or singing. Reduce light and noise.
Is baby tired? Tired babies might also yawn or jerk their legs. Put baby to sleep in a safe place. You can wrap baby first, if baby is younger than 4 months.
Why is baby crying: nappy change, uncomfortable, sick?
Does baby need a nappy change? If baby has a rash, rinse baby’s bottom with clean water, gently pat dry and use a nappy cream.
Is baby uncomfortable? Hold baby upright and pat or stroke baby’s back. Also check baby isn’t too hot or cold. Make sure baby is dressed comfortably.
Is baby sick? Take baby’s temperature. 37°C is normal. Talk to your GP if baby is hotter than 38°C or if you’re worried.
Keeping a crying baby safe
Never shake a baby. It can cause permanent brain damage, disability or death.
Are you frustrated or upset? Gently put baby in a safe place and walk away until you feel calmer. Or ask someone else to hold baby.
It’s OK to ask for help. If it’s hard to cope with your baby’s crying, call your local Parentline or talk to your GP or child and family health nurse.
Languages other than English
- Arabic (PDF: 383kb)
- Dari (PDF: 384kb)
- Dinka (PDF: 412kb)
- Hakha Chin (PDF: 369kb)
- Karen (PDF: 383kb)
- Persian (PDF: 378kb)
- Simplified Chinese (PDF: 397kb)
- Swahili (PDF: 377kb)
- Tamil (PDF: 384kb)
- Vietnamese (PDF: 400kb)