Why Do Babies Cry?

Decoding the cries & how to help your baby settle

Babies cry for a variety of reasons and this article discusses a few of the most prominent reasons and some suggestions on how to deal with it.

Tummy Talk

Hunger may really get your baby worked up so respond to early signs of hunger. Gas and colic can also cause a lot of discomfort, therefore ensure that your baby is well burped and feeding in a relaxed manner. Provide sucking opportunities, which provides comfort and soothing. A clean finger, baby’s hands or fingers or a pacifier works wonders.


Some babies get very upset when wet or dirty, so ensure that she is clean and dry.

Sleep and Stimulation

Tiredness causes fussiness. Newborns need more than 16 hours sleep a day, preferably in a quiet, dimmed sleeping environment.Tone down on stimulation and rather provide gently rocking (swaying) and don’t pat vigorously. Constant, repetitive sounds such as womb sounds, mom’s heartrate or other white noise may be useful to calm your crying baby.

Hold Me

Sometimes babies are just lonely and need closeness or holding. Place your baby in skin-to-skin contact as much as possible – it will keep her warm, snuggled, comfortable and provide feeds if needed.


Ensure your baby is not cold or too hot. A general rule of thumb is to dress your baby in one layer of clothes more than what you are wearing. Do not allow crying to make you anxious. Try to tune in to your baby’s needs and do what your instinct tells you to.

By Welma Lubbe

Welma Lubbe is a Clinical Nursing Specialist and Educator with a masters degree in Nursing. She is currently busy with her PhD on Neurodevelopmental Supportive Care. Welma is the founder and owner of Little Steps and president of SANITSA.