For normal, healthy infants crying is a very common occurrence, especially during the first 12 weeks of life. Between 2 and 6 weeks of age a baby’s crying steadily increases and can put a lot of strain on parents.

Crying is the number one reason why parents shake and hurt their baby. Shaking a baby is very dangerous and can cause: blindness, seizures, learning and physical disabilities, and even death.  Shaken Baby Syndrome is the most common form of child abuse seen in children under one years of age. It is also the number one cause of death in infants (30 percent of deaths) and upwards of 80 percent of infants who survive suffers permanent life-long brain abnormalities.

Comforting Your Baby

There are several things you can do to try to comfort your baby when he/she cries including:

  • Check to see if he/she is hungry, tired, or needs changing.
  • Increase your carry, comfort, walk, and talk activities with your baby.
  • Rhythmic motion: Take your baby for a walk or ride in the car, or dancing with your baby.
  • Rhythmic sound: music, lullabies, white noise, dripping water, etc.
  • Touches that delight: a warm bath, skin-to-skin contact, a massage.
  • Sights that delight: mirror, happy/silly faces; the TV.

It’s important to remember that these may reduce your baby’s crying, but may not always work. If you’re concerned that your baby’s crying is abnormal, check with your doctor to make sure there isn’t anything wrong.

Even when you are at your wits-end, remember this period will end, crying is normal and you’re doing fine.

Donna Wright, RN, MSN,CPNP-PC, is a nurse practitioner/manager at Cook Children’s.

Related Articles