“Why is my baby crying for no reason?”
Many parents can start to feel helpless, overwhelmed and frustrated when baby simply will not stop crying. If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone!
If you’re stressed out and exhausted, it can be even harder to try and calm a fussy baby, because you’re not calm yourself.
Try to calm baby by recreating a womb with the 5 S’s:
- Swaddling. Wrap your baby in a blanket so he feels secure.
- Side or stomach position. Hold your baby so they’re lying on their side or stomach. But always put them on their back when going to sleep – and never co-sleep with your baby.
- Shushing. Create “white noise” that drowns out other noises: run the vacuum cleaner, hair drier, fan or clothes dryer.
- Swinging. Create a rhythmic motion of any kind. For example, take your baby for a ride in a stroller or car.
- Sucking. Let the baby suck on something, such as a pacifier.
Adapted from pediatrician Harvey Karp’s tips in The Happiest Baby on the Block
While some soothing tips may do the trick, it can also be helpful to identify if your baby is PURPLE Crying. This is a critical time during which baby may resist soothing and needs additional patience and support:
Peak of Crying – Beginning at 2 weeks of age, this continues until about 3-4 months.
Unexpected – Crying can come and go and you don’t know why
Resists Soothing – Your baby may not stop crying no matter what you try
Pain-Like Face – A crying baby may look like they are in pain, even when they are not.
Long Lasting – Crying can last as much as 5 hours a day, or more.
Evening – Your baby may cry more in the late afternoon and evening.
Curriculum provided by: The National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome
The Period of PURPLE Crying is a normal part of every infant’s development. Although it can be frustrating, it is simply a phase and most importantly know that will pass.
Don’t forget about your own calming strategy! When you start to feel stressed out, create your own plan to stay centered and work through baby’s crying:
Plan ahead by understanding your limits and frustrations. This can help you to know when to seek help or support.
Ask for help or emotional support from a family member or friend.
Remember that crying – even for hours – is normal and will end soon.
Exercise your body to help clear your mind. Even a walk around the block can be helpful.
Never shake your baby.
Talk to someone. Caring professionals can help through this tough time. Call your local CHS office for additional support.
Remember, when your baby is crying, they’re trying to communicate. You can do this!