Figuring Out
What's Wrong

Nothing stresses out a new mama more than not being able to soothe her baby. Don’t freak out — we’re here to help!

Babies crying

Your baby can’t talk. If she needs something, she cries. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell what she needs.

Not being able to soothe your crying baby is frustrating for a mama, but don’t worry — you’re not alone. There are several reasons your baby might be crying — some are serious, but most are not. The best way to figure out the problem is through the process of elimination. These are some of the most likely reasons.

She’s hungry

Hunger is one of the most likely reasons your baby is crying, especially if she is very young. Babies have tiny stomachs that can only hold a small amount of food at a time. This means she needs to eat frequently to keep her stomach from completely emptying. When she gets fussy, offer her a bottle or breast.

5 Common issues with breastfeeding >>

She’s tired

The concept of being too tired to sleep probably sounds ridiculous to a mama who would give almost anything for a little bit of shut-eye. It’s a very real thing for a baby, though. If she’s too wound up, or too upset about being sleepy, she can’t settle down enough to fall asleep. As you know all too well, it’s pretty upsetting to be tired, but not able to sleep.

Help an over-stimulated baby calm down by taking her somewhere quiet, rocking her or rubbing her back or belly. Set the mood for sleep and help her calm down by spraying It's a Small World lavender room mist.

She’s uncomfortable

Her jammies are scratchy, her leg itches, a zipper is poking her, there’s a toy under her back. There could be a million reasons why your baby might be uncomfortable, but she wants you to figure it out and fix it now! Temperature also plays a big role in your baby’s comfort, so be careful not to over- or under-dress her.

She needs to be changed

Some babies don’t fuss at all when they have a soiled diaper. Others start to scream as soon as they’ve done the deed. Check to make sure she has a dry, clean diaper, because there’s a good chance that’s the source of her discontent.

Letting your baby cry it out >>

She wants to be picked up

Babies like to be cuddled. She’s spent nine months rolled up tight in the comfort of your belly, and now she’s out here in the cold — by herself. Physical contact is reassuring, as is your smell and your voice —  she’ll recognize them. Pick up your baby and give her some cuddles. You’ll both be glad for the quality time. Don’t worry about spoiling her — you can’t hold a baby too much during those first few months.

She’s sick

Most of the time, your baby is probably crying because of something simple you can easily fix. That’s not always the case, though. Be aware of cries that are more urgent, louder or weaker than normal, or cries that are more high-pitched. No one knows a baby like her mama, so trust your gut. If you think something might be wrong, call your health care provider.

Top 5 infant ailments >>

Quick tip

To help soothe your baby, find a constant noise like she’s used to hearing in your womb. Turn on a vacuum, fan, white noise machine or heartbeat simulator to help calm her down.

More for mommies from SheKnows

Sugar water for infant pain relief
Cloth diapering without a washer and dryer
Why are well-baby checkups important?


recommended for you