Coping with a crying baby is difficult – they can’t communicate with you to explain why they’re crying so it can be a guessing game.

Babies cry because this is their only way to let us know that they need us and that something isn’t right.

Sometimes this can be because they are hungry and need a feed, or that they are uncomfortable and need to be burped or have their nappy changed. Sometimes crying tells us they are tired or just need some time to be soothed if they are feeling overwhelmed and just need a cuddle to feel more settled.

At times though it can be very hard to understand why a baby is crying when we have checked all those things that we know.

One thing to remember is that a crying baby is not a misbehaving baby. They just can’t use words to tell you what’s wrong!

Crying is normal behaviour for babies and it will change with time. This leaflet was written by child psychotherapists to help with crying and sleeping in the first months of life.

This picture shows the normal pattern of crying over the first months of a baby’s life. It is normal for there to be a peak of crying and this usually stops at 8 weeks. If you’re in the middle of this time, it will pass and you’re not alone.

It’s important to check in with your own feelings during this time. Finding methods to calm or soothe yourself – whether that’s having a bath, a cup of tea or just taking five minutes out – can help soothe your baby. Babies pick up on their parent’s states and if their parent is feeling wound up and stressed, it can be more difficult to soothe the baby.

Looking after your mental health when you have a baby

Useful contact numbers:

Cry-sis

Helpline: 08451 228 669 (lines open 7 days a week 9am-10pm)

Website: https://www.cry-sis.org.uk/

NCT

Helpline: 0300 330 0700

Website: https://www.nct.org.uk/baby-toddler/crying/how-cope-and-keep-calm-crying-baby