Dealing with crying babies: 15 tips to calm your little one

Your baby’s crying can be heartbreaking, especially if you feel like you can do almost nothing about it. You’ve tried everything and are exhausted, stressed and irritated. This affects your entire environment. In addition, you are worried, because why does your baby cry so much? Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can try yourself to reduce crying. In this blog we give a number of tips to calm your ‘cry baby’.

What is ‘cry baby’? 

For babies, crying in the first few months of life is the only form of communication. It is therefore quite normal for your baby to cry regularly, for example in case of hunger, fatigue, discomfort or pain. A baby cries an average of two hours a day during the first three months. Normally, crying subsides after a peak around six weeks of age.

In the Netherlands, about 15% of all babies are ‘cry babies’. When a baby cries for at least three weeks, three days a week and three hours a day, we’re talking about a crying baby. Sometimes a baby can keep crying for hours on end, both during the day and at night. The term ‘crybaby’ is also often used to expressive excessive crying, which can be classed as abnormal.

Causes of crying babies

With most crying babies, the crying decreases on its own. It is good to look at the cause, but sometimes it is not found. The excessive crying can be caused by: 

  • A problematic pregnancy or childbirth/cesarean section 
  • Use of forceps or vaccum/vontose extraction during childbirth
  • Torticollis 
  • Allergies 
  • Food intolerances 
  • Constipation 
  • Reflux
  • Abdominal cramps (colic) 
  • Silent reflux 
  • KISS syndrome 
  • Otitis / ear ache
  • Overstimulation

Tips for crying babies 

If you have a ‘cry baby’, we will tell most people that it will pass by itself. Can’t you do anything about it? Fortunately, yes! These tips are not only useful for crying babies, but also a good approach against crying a ‘normal’ baby. Which tips work well with your baby is very personal.

  1. Keep a crying diary: To determine when, how often and for how long your baby cries, it is good to keep a diary. You gain insight into the crying behavior, which may allow you to discover a cause or pattern. 
  2. Stay calm:  Easily said than done, but try to stay calm. In a panic, you are more likely to make decisions that you regret afterwards. Try to accept that your baby is crying and inconsolable. From that acceptance, see which actions you can take further.
  3. Check your baby’s basic needs: If your child cries continuously in the same tone for a longer period of time, at some point you no longer know what is wrong. Therefore, regularly check whether the basic needs are in order; clean diaper, no hunger etc. 
  4. Comfort your baby:  Of course you try to comfort your baby, that’s probably an automatic response. But with prolonged crying you get tired of it and you prefer to ignore your baby. Remember that your baby really isn’t doing it on purpose. For example, gently rock back and forth or make skin contact. Walking around in a baby carrier on your stomach is often also soothing.
  5. Ensure rest and regularity: Crying babies get tired and overstimulated by crying. This in turn causes them to sleep poorly and cry even more, a vicious circle. Make sure your baby feels safe in his/her environment. A fixed structure helps to calm your baby. Put your little one to bed at set times and always give food around the same time.
  6. Create a calm sleeping environment: Fatigue and overstimulation cause more crying. So it is important to prevent this. Put your baby to bed as soon as you see that he/she is getting tired. You can recognize this by rubbing the eyes, yawning, yawning and looking away with the eyes. Always put your baby to bed to sleep. This is then recognized as the sleeping place, making it easier for your baby to fall asleep. Swaddling can possibly help. 
  7. Take a shower or bath with your baby: Relaxing in the warm water does you both good. Most babies love to bathe. This gives them the safe feeling of uterus. Even with intestinal problems, a hot shower or bath is a good idea. 
  8. Rule out a food allergy: In the Netherlands there are quite a few babies with a food allergy, the most common being ow’s milk allergy.   If you suspect that your baby is allergic, have this tested to be sure. Sometimes the solution is to remove dairy from the baby’s diet either from the breast milk or trying a dairy free/hypoallergenic baby formula.
  9. Put on soothing music: Your own voice gives your baby a soothing feeling, so sing a song or put on calm music. Try out some songs and songs and see what your baby responds to best.
  10. Give the favorite cuddly toy: Cry babies sometimes suffer from separation anxiety. Give a hug to calm your child. It is best to sleep with this cuddly toy yourself first, so that it smells like you. Then you put the cuddly toy with your baby and you will notice that your little one quickly becomes calmer. 
  11. Call in help: Having a baby crying none stop can be overwhelming.  Asking for help can be really beneficial. If you get overtired and frustrated, no one will benefit, especially your baby. Therefore, choose to alternate care regularly. Not only your partner, but also your sister, best friend or (in-law) parents. 
  12. Take time for yourself: Now that you’ve enlisted some help, that’s a good time to take some time for yourself. Relax and do what you feel like doing. Book a massage, go out for dinner with your partner or catch up on some hours of sleep. Despite everything, try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you can then handle more physically and mentally. 
  13. Talk to other parents: Everyone thinks differently about how to deal with crying babies and raise children, but who knows, you might learn something from it. Talk to other parents who also have a crying baby and ask what works for them. It’s also nice to vent your heart out to people who are going through the same thing as you.
  14. Exclude physical causes: Have you tried most of the tips above and is your baby still crying a lot? Perhaps the crying is due to cramps or reflux, for example. Then you can still do so much, but as long as the physical cause is not solved, your baby will continue to cry. 
  15. Enjoy the beautiful moments Despite the fact that your baby cries a lot, there are certainly still beautiful moments that you experience together. Try to remember these moments when things are not going so well for a while. Build a strong bond with your baby by continuing to communicate, they understand more than you think.

Chiropractic and crying babies

If you have a crying baby, chiropractic can offer the solution. Especially with physical complaints such as colic, torticollis and reflux. In addition, chiropractic treatments also contribute to the overall health of your child. 

In an initial consultation we go through the history of your baby, the pregnancy and childbirth story. Next, we investigate why your baby cries so much. Is the cause mainly due to tension, poor mobility of the spine or an imbalance in the body? Then you have come to the right place. Through gentle and safe treatments, your baby will soon feel better again. 

Make an appointment for an initial consultation. You do not need a referral from the doctor for this.

Maak een afspraak