Content is loading...

Hide this page Easy read and translate

Caring for your crying baby - ICON

  • 0-1 Years
  • 1-5 Years
  • Parents and Carers
  • Behaviour, emotions and mental health
  • Sleep
  • Staying safe and accident prevention
Dad sitting on bed looking down at his baby which he is holding in his arm. His other hand is holding his phone.

I – infant crying is normal

C - comforting methods can sometimes soothe a baby

O - it's OK to walk away

N - never ever shake your baby

Speak to your family, friends or a health professional if you need support. It’s never too early to ask for help.

Crying baby facts

It is completely normal for babies to cry. Crying is how your baby tries to get your attention and communicate with you. There are lots of different ways to soothe a crying baby. Sometimes these methods will work and other times they won’t, and this is ok. Though babies cry a lot, you can expect crying to reach its peak when your baby is around 4 to 8 weeks old. This can be a challenging time.

The normal crying curve

A graph showing the length of time a baby will cry in a 24 hour period from 2 weeks to 4 to 5 months old. At 2 months old a low crier will cry for 20 to 30 minutes in a 24 hour period. An high crier will cry for 5 to 6 hours in a 24 hour period.

Graph taken from: Barr R G 1990, 'The normal crying curve: what do we really know?' Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 356-362.

If you feel like you can’t cope, it’s ok to put your baby down in a safe place such as their cot. You can then take a few minutes to calm yourself. Keep checking on your baby every few minutes until you feel calm enough to soothe them. Never ever shake your baby.

Always ask for help if you think you need it. You can seek support from family, friends, professionals, or online resources. There is a lot of help available but focus on getting the right kind of support to help you.

Top tips to help you and your crying baby


When to worry about your baby's crying

If your baby is crying constantly and it doesn’t sound like their normal cry there may be another cause. There are lots of possible causes but it’s important to check if it’s colic or if they are seriously ill.

If you think your baby is unwell, contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency, always call 999.

Looking after yourself with a crying baby

It can be stressful looking after a crying baby. But remember there is lots of support available from friends, family or professionals. It’s never too early to speak out and ask for help.

You can also try:

Dad's can now download the DadPad. The app contains information and advice on caring for a new baby as well as looking after themselves and their family. 

Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023

Who can help with your crying baby?


Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns about your baby's crying, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

Other places you can seek support from

  • You can discuss your concerns with your GP. If it is late at night and you don’t have anyone around to support you, you can call 111 for advice.

  • Cry-sis is a charity that supports parents struggling with an unsettled baby. You can call 08451 228669 between 9am and 10pm every day.

  • Young Minds Parents Helpline is available by calling 0808 802 5544 for free support. Open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 4pm.

  • You can text ChatHealth if you are aged 11 to 19 on 07480 635 443. This service is open Monday to Friday 9:30am to 4:30pm.

  • If you are 18 and under you can call Childline on 0800 1111 for free support. They are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Was this page helpful?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

You must log in to save content

Click below to log in or create a new account


You must log in to save content

Click below to log in or create a new account