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How to calm a fussy baby?

fussy baby crying

Key points:

1. Babies cry to communicate needs like hunger or discomfort.


2. Fussy babies may cry 2-4 hours daily, usually at the same time, decreasing around three months.

3. Colic is excessive crying without clear cause, lasting at least 3 hours a day for 1-3 months.

4. Calm a fussy baby with swaddling, activities, carriers, varied holds, soothing sounds, and calming yourself.


Crying is the way babies communicate their discomfort, hunger, or need for attention. It’s quite normal to have a fussy baby at home that cries 2-4 hours a day, usually at the same time every day. After a few weeks, the crying diminishes and around three months, most babies only cry for approximately an hour a day.

All babies cry, but some do it significantly more than others. This is known as colic, and it is crying that begins and ends for no clear reason, lasts at least three hours a day, and happens at least three times a week for a period of 1-3 months.

It’s important to keep in mind that excessive crying may have a medical or physical cause, so first you must try to identify if there’s a reason behind the crying of your baby by looking for patterns. Does it happen at certain times of the day or in specific situations like a crowded place or right after feeding? Can you tell if your child cries differently for food, because of fatigue, etc? Keep a record of this so you can compare it with previous weeks.

What can I do to calm a fussy baby?

Here are some techniques you can try at home when your baby is crying inconsolably. Try them all! With patience and practice, you’ll get to know which works for your baby.

  • Swaddle your baby. Wrap them snugly in a blanket to help them feel more secure.
  • Try an activity. Give your little one a warm bath, sing or talk to your baby, or take them for a ride in a stroller. 
  • Try using a baby carrier or sling. Some babies love being close to mom or dad all day! Walking around might soothe them.
  • Hold your baby in different ways. As long as your baby is safe, there is no wrong or right way to carry them. Try different positions like having them facing forward, over your shoulder, or close to your chest.
  • Lay your baby across your forearm, tummy down, with your hand supporting their chest.
  • Lay your baby tummy down across your lap or on a soft surface and gently rub their back.
  • Try different movements. Some babies like gentle swaying movements while others like faster swinging or rocking.
  • Use soothing sounds. Background noise can be soothing, try having a fan or humidifier in your baby’s room. Sing or talk softly to your fussy baby to calm them down.
  • Reduce stimulation. In other cases, less stimulation means less crying. Lower the lights, reduce noise, and other sensations like textures for your baby.
  • Remain calm. Caring for a crying baby can be very stressful, especially considering you have a hormonal response that makes you feel uncomfortable when your little one cries. If you take the time to calm yourself, it helps your baby calm down too.

As long as your baby is safe and being taken care of, there is no right or wrong technique. All babies are different, so try all the techniques and see what works best for your little one.

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