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Mom holding baby while dad tries to console him

Coping with Crying

By Dr. Elisa Young, Liberty Pediatrics

Although parents expect their newborn baby to cry, many are not prepared for how much crying they may hear those first three months. It’s not uncommon for a healthy newborn to have fussy periods that last up to three hours a day. You may wonder whether it’s normal. Always consult your pediatrician if you have questions or concerns.

Try the following tips to help you cope during these early months:

Try not to take your baby’s tears personally.

Crying is a natural instinct for babies. In fact, it is a way for babies to communicate. They may cry to let you know they’re hungry, scared, in pain, or wanting to be held.

Don’t worry that you’ll spoil your baby if you comfort them every time they cry.

Comfort offers reassurance and helps your baby develop the ability to trust.

To comfort a crying baby, first see if they are wet or hungry.

If your baby continues to cry, try holding them close to you. Rocking, walking, or singing softly to your baby may calm them down. If that doesn’t help, put your baby down in the crib. Pat baby’s back or rub their cheek. If they begin to settle down within a few minutes, they may simply be telling you it’s naptime.

If nothing seems to console your baby, call your pediatrician.

Babies who cry for hours on end every day may have colic. Although colic is very upsetting to parents, it is not dangerous to the child. Babies with colic grow normally and are usually in good health. Most babies outgrow colic by 12 weeks of age.

Realize that being with a newborn is very stressful.

Get as much rest as you can when your baby naps. Allow a trusted friend or family member to babysit while you recharge your batteries. Baby yourself a little, too!

Feeling frustrated? Never hit or shake your baby.

If you ever feel so frustrated that you fear you might hit or shake your baby, put the baby down in the crib and walk into another room. It’s OK to let a baby cry for a few minutes while you pull yourself together.  

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.