Tips on swaddling and other ways to comfort your crying baby.


Being a parent/caregiver is not easy. A baby’s constant crying can be stressful and frustrating for you. Sometimes there is no reason for a baby to cry, and there is nothing you can do. A baby crying is normal.

Facts about crying babies:

  • Most babies cry often: 80-90% of babies have crying spells lasting 20-60 minutes or longer. This does not mean that your baby has colic
  • Most babies cry more at night, sometimes for an hour or longer
  • Most babies have at least one fussy period each day, often in the evening
  • Most babies cry more at six to eight weeks than at birth
  • Most parents/caregivers will feel angry, frustrated and will cry themselves
  • In the first five to six months, it is normal for a baby’s crying to increase in intensity, and the baby may not be consolable

Sometimes it is okay to put the baby in the crib and let the baby cry for a short time to give yourself a break.

Call for help. Try a friend, family member, public health department, leader of your faith community, social service agency or the distress line 416-408-HELP (4357).

Why Do Babies Cry?

Crying is an important way that your baby communicates to you before they can speak. Figuring out crying can be difficult – here are some suggestions:

  • Feed baby. Baby may be hungrier on some days
  • Offer the breast often if that helps to soothe baby
  • Hold, rock, massage, dance with baby in your arms, sit together on bouncing ball or rocking chair, talk and sing to baby
  • Take off shirt and hold baby skin to skin
  • Take bath with baby
  • Go for walk with baby in your arms in sling or in stroller
  • Lie down beside baby while you nurse, massage, gently touch or talk to baby
  • Let someone else hold baby
  • Pick up baby, comfort, change diaper, burp or rub baby’s back
  • Changing baby’s position may help
  • Babies should be dressed as warmly as you are – plus one more layer
  • Baby should not be too cool/hot to the touch
  • Turn lights off, keep surroundings quiet
  • Rocking baby gently can be soothing for both of you

Remember! When your baby is tired, it is important they be in a safe sleep environment.

  • Read, play, talk, sing, hold baby every day
  • Change rooms so baby can look at different things
  • Hold, rock, talk, walk, sing, bathe baby, massage, offer the breast, or try soothing music
  • Try to comfort the baby, giving time for baby to respond to each thing you do
  • If your baby’s cry sounds different to you or baby cannot be soothed after trying everything, see your health care provider or call: Telehealth Ontario 1-866-797-0000

Shaken Baby Syndrome

Shaken Baby Syndrome is a condition that occurs when a baby is shaken violently. Shaking is a potentially fatal form of child abuse.

If a baby is shaken with force, it can lead to a lifetime of problems:

  • Shaking can damage a child’s brain
  • Shaking can cause permanent disabilities like blindness or paralysis
  • Shaking can even cause death

Never, never shake a baby! Shaking can damage your baby’s brain and may cause death. No child, at any age, should be shaken.

 Download English and Multiple Languages What is Shaken Baby Syndrome?/Why Do Babies Cry?