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PLAYING: Understanding why babies cry

Understanding why babies cry

Wondering why babies cry? If you’re struggling to understand what your baby is trying to tell you, check this list for possible clues to help.

2 mins to read Sep 15, 2020
  • Check if baby is hungry or thirsty. Baby’s stomach is tiny so feedings will be small and frequent at first.  Read our tips on what to look out for with hungry vs full babies.
  • Check if baby is tired—look out for telltale signs like fluttering eyelids or sucking of fingers.
  • Check if their diaper needs changing.
  • Feel if they’re too hot or cold.
  • See if they want a cuddle—sometimes they just need some love.
  • Consider whether there is another issue that may be bothering them. If baby’s crying or discomfort seems excessive and you think they may have constipation, colic or reflux, call your doctor. You can also read our checklist with tips for helping baby tummy troubles
  • Do a top to bottom inspection, including their little fingers and toes, to see if there is anything irritating them.
  • Try using motion to soothe baby. Swaying cuddles, a baby swing, walking around with baby in a carrier, a car ride, or a walk in the baby stroller are all safe ways to rock and soothe your baby.
  • Try infant massage. Many community public health units or other organizations even offer classes for you and baby.  Read our checklist to find out how to give your baby massage 
  • It may sound strange, but try the sound of your vacuum or hair dryer or a white noise machine or app. Many babies find these types of sounds comforting. 
  • Give them a warm bath to relax them.
  • Try to trust your instinct. If their crying is causing concern, speak to your doctor.



Canadian Paediatric Society. Caring for Kids. Colic and Crying. Accessed August 2020.