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How to stop your baby from crying?

by Ines Wurbs

Crying and screaming babies probably break every parent’s heart. We want to help our babies, soothe them, and make sure they are fine and not suffering. But that is sometimes quite challenging. This overview should give you a few suggestions.

The best way to calm our crying baby is to meet all of their basic needs, such as hunger, sleep, or avoiding noisy, frightening surroundings. We could also try to calm down our baby with:

  • physical contact
  • movements
  • noises
  • Wear
  • or a massage

Below you will find the details of the general tips and how you can implement them.

How can I soothe my crying baby

The following tips should help you to calm your child:

Meet basic needs

Of course, you can try the best methods, but if your baby’s basic needs are not met, it will be of no use. So, make sure your child:

  • is not hungry
  • that it doesn’t freeze
  • that it is not tired or
  • it is not overstimulated by the environment. 

Also, pay attention to whether your child is crying because of pain or fever. Flatulence, teeth, or fever naturally very often cause tears. However, you can usually recognize the special crying by the shrill, sharp crying sounds.

Physical contact and warmth

It is best to put your baby on your shoulder and support the head and butt. The upright, safe posture in connection with the warming body contact and gentle rocking or walking calms your baby. But most of the time it doesn’t let it fall asleep. So, this is perfect, suitable during the day.

Carry or swaddle

The closeness, hearing the heartbeat, the warmth, and the reduced range of motion often has a calming effect on babies.

Anything that wobbles

All rhythmic movements help to lull your baby to sleep. This can be a walk in the stroller, rocking in a cradle, driving in the car, or even lying in a rocking chair on mom. Anything that moves steadily has a calming effect and makes babies sleepy.

Pacifier or cuddle cloth

Something to suck on is very calming for babies. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a pacifier, a bottle, or even the tip of a cuddly cloth. With such aids, babies can calm and regulate themselves. 

Songs or soft speaking

The quiet voice of mom and dad has a calming effect on the baby. Songs or recurring sentences also have the advantage that they have a calming rhythm.

Regular background noise and white noise

Sometimes, constant, not too loud noises in the background can put a baby to sleep. Constant chatter, the washing machine or even the vacuum cleaner or the hair dryer have the same calming effect as the sound of waves, whale sounds, or white noise.

Your baby pays attention to these sounds, and the repetitive tones slow down the brain’s activity and make your child sleepy.


A mobile, leaves in the trees or anything else that moves gently and evenly and is in the baby’s field of vision has a calming effect and also distracts from crying. But be careful, newborns can only see as far as their arms can reach. You should also make sure that nothing can fall into the bed or crib. So pay attention to the attachment.

Baby massage

Gently stroke your baby’s body, arms, and legs with warm hands and maybe cream or baby oil. This relaxes the muscles and helps calm them down.

A stomach massage, clockwise, also helps to relieve flatulence.

Calm environment

A quiet environment is particularly beneficial for falling asleep and calming down. So little noise, no or only little light, or soft daylight, and no other glaring things in the field of vision.

Maybe you were/are in a shopping center, there were visitors or other everyday events. You may not be special to us. But for our babies, they are. It’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Of course, it also takes a certain amount of getting used to. Yet, keep a close eye on your child and react immediately to the first signs of discomfort from your baby. Sucking their finger, for example, often indicates stress.


The best way to calm a baby is to be as relaxed as possible yourself. Of course, this is quite difficult when you are tired yourself and your baby does not want to be calmed down. So, if you have the opportunity, give your baby to your partner or someone else the baby is familiar with.

The important thing is the routine with babies. Of course, this can also be the neighbor with children who you trust. Experienced handling of a baby by a person who isn’t experiencing all the stress right now often works like magic.

Use multiple methods

Studies have also shown that a combination of several methods works best. So sing and rock, pacifier, sing, and rock, and other combinations.

The Baby Grip

The American doctor Dr. Hamilton revealed his secret trick for crying babies in 2015. A special hold where the baby’s arms are carefully crossed over his chest. Use your left hand to secure your baby’s arms and your right hand to hold them in the diaper area. Then gently rock your baby up and down at a 45-degree angle. 

I have had reports from a number of moms that this grip has worked quite well for them and their babies. It also combines warmth, distraction and gentle restriction of movement, and rhythmic bobbing. All components of effective calming.

Why do babies cry?

Babies cry to tell us something is wrong. They don’t want to annoy us or make us despair. They just can’t express themselves in any other way. As outlined in the figure above, they don’t scream and cry that little, either. 1 to 2.5 hours a day is quite a long time.

Data fromFederal Center for Health Education (BZgA),  http://www.kindergesundheit-info.de  CC BY-NC-ND

The needs that it wants to express can be hunger, sleep (you can find out how much sleep children need in this article), security, warmth, or, a little later, boredom. Sometimes, of course, it is also caused by pain. Of course, even if a fresh diaper is needed, this will be loudly announced. 

It can happen that our little darlings are so overwhelmed by their impressions or their feelings that they become so obsessed that they find it difficult to calm themselves down. They can’t do it alone. This is where an unexpected distraction can be helpful. So, a squeaky stuffed animal or a brightly colored eye-catcher.


It is crucial that you try to pay attention to the subtleties and differences in your child’s gestures, facial expressions, and behavior. We often misunderstand them and therefore do not necessarily take the right measures. Or we think to ourselves, I just have to do this or that quickly. That’s human. It happens to all of us.

Try to consciously take the stress and hectic pace out of your everyday life and, if in doubt, try everything and try out the different options one after the other. With calm and confidence, as far as possible, at least.

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