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Crying, Age 3 and Younger

Crying Plan

​​​​​​​​​​​​All babies cry. It is how they tell you they need something. A crying baby may:

  • be hungry or gassy
  • have a wet or soiled diaper
  • be sick or in pain
  • be lonely

Sometimes babies just need to cry and may cry for no apparent reason.​

Sometimes babies can’t stop crying no m​atter what you do. When this happens, feeling frustr​ated is normal.

Having a plan to cope with crying can help.

Here are some ideas you can try. You can add your own ideas and the phone numbers of people you know can help you in the blank lines.​

​ ​
​​​​​Take a break, don’t shake​
To soothe the baby, I can… Asking for help…To calm myself,
​I can…
  • check with a healthcare
    pro​vider​ to see if my baby is sick or in pain​
  • check what my baby may need. Are they hungry, wet, bored?
  • feed my baby slowly and burp them often
  • change baby’s diaper
  • take baby for a walk
  • play soothing music
  • run the vacuum
  • gently massage my baby’s tummy or back
  • snuggle my baby against my chest
  • gently rock my baby
  • sing, read or talk softly
  • put my baby in a baby swing
  • give my baby a warm bath
  • encourage my baby to suck, like a soother
  • cut down the noise and light around my baby

Never shake a baby for any reason.

Other ideas to soothe baby…

​​​It's OK to ask for help.

I can call the following contacts anytime during the day​…


I can call Health Link at 811 to get health advice from a nurse anytime, 24 hours a day.

  • gently put my baby where they will be safe, like their crib, and leave the room
  • close my eyes and take deep breaths
  • count to 100
  • listen to music
  • talk to someone about my feelings
  • call a friend or family member
  • take a shower or bath
  • exercise
  • do housework
  • write down the 5 best things about myself
  • write down the 5 best things about my baby
  • do an activity or hobby like a crossword puzzle or reading
  • use positive self-talk, like “I can calm myself” and “the baby knows I am trying”

Other ideas to calm myself​…


Please show this to everyone who cares for your baby. ​​

Current as of: January 18, 2018

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services