How to Calm a Crying Baby

There's nothing more heart-wrenching—and, let's face it, sometimes nerve-wracking—than a wailing infant. Here are a few ways to soothe your sweet little crybaby.


Up next in New Parents Survival Kit (19 videos)

Whether you're having your first kid or your fifth, there's some parenting news you can use in this Howcast video series, including how to lose the baby weight; how to reignite your sex life; how to calm a crying baby; how to get a newborn to sleep; how to find a good babysitter; how to be a stay-at-home dad; and much more.

You Will Need

  • A crying baby
  • As much patience as you can muster
  • A bottle for the baby (optional) (optional)
  • A pacifier (optional) (optional)
  • Music or noise that's soothing to your baby, like humming (optional) (optional)
  • An exercise ball (optional) (optional)
  • A warm bath (optional) (optional)
  • And a baby toy (optional) (optional)


  1. No matter how frustrated you get, NEVER, EVER shake a crying baby--just a few seconds of jostling can cause serious brain damage. If you can't take anymore, put baby down in a safe place, leave the room, and let her scream while you calm yourself down.

  2. Step 1

    Try to find reason

    Check all the obvious reasons the baby might be crying. In babies under 3 months old, crying is almost always a sign of physical need--she may be hungry or gassy or wet or hot or just plain uncomfortable. So offer a breast or bottle, burp her, check her diaper, make sure her clothes aren't pinching, and so on.

  3. Step 2

    Offer pacifier or thumb

    Offer the baby a pacifier, help her find her thumb, or slip your own clean pinkie into her mouth, nail side down.

  4. Step 3

    Make soothing noises

    Make some soothing noises. Sing, hum, or gently shush her. Some babies may also be calmed by the sound of a running faucet, a radio set on static, a recording of nature sounds or white noise--even the steady hum of the vacuum cleaner.

  5. Step 4

    Try movement

    Try movement. Take her outside for a walk or a car ride, gently dance with her in your arms or a sling, rock her side-to-side, or just walk around the room.

  6. If you just can't make another lap around the room, try sitting on an exercise ball and gently bouncing while holding your baby.

  7. Step 5

    Try massage or bath

    Try massaging her or putting her in a warm, soothing bath.

  8. For babies who become invigorated by a massage or bath, it's best not to use these methods to try to soothe them while crying.

  9. Step 6

    Change scenery

    Change the scenery. Give her something new to look at, by turning on the ceiling fan or showing her a toy. And remember to stay calm and patient--after all, she can't cry forever.

  10. The average newborn cries 2 hours per day--an infant who cries inconsolably at least 3 hours a day for at least 3 days a week probably has colic and will outgrow it by 3 months.