How to stop a baby from crying and tips: Baby is distraught

Crying is one of the ways babies are able to communicate with others. And as your bond grows over time, parents will be able to better understand what their cries mean and how to address them. From wanting to be fed to being irritable because they seek a nap, different baby cries can be understood better with a little help. 

In this article, we share tips on how to stop a baby from crying and other important matters, including:

Knowing how to stop a baby from crying is an important skill for any parent. Different cries can mean different things, so knowing what these cries mean can help you take better care of your baby.

But how exactly do you go about soothing your baby? Is there a way to understand what their cries mean? Read on to find out more about a crying baby and how to soothe them.

How to stop a baby from crying: baby girl looks intently at mom


Non Stop Crying Baby: Deciphering baby cries

Why do babies cry, and how to stop a baby from crying? Typically, babies cry when they are hungry, sleepy, tired, sick, or when they feel fussy. Babies also cry when their diaper is full or if they feel uncomfortable. Sometimes, even minor things, such as hearing an unfamiliar noise, smelling a foul odour, or having the lights too bright, can cause a baby to cry.

Because babies cannot talk, they cry to express what they want or feel. Crying is a baby's primary form of communication. Though it can be hard to decipher what exactly your baby needs when they are crying.

Babies generally cry the most during the first three months of their lives. As they grow older, they cry less. But may not always be the case. Some babies may cry more than others, but this is usually not a cause for concern1.

When it comes to a crying baby, parents may feel anxious or stressed out. This is especially true for babies who cry through the night, which causes their parents to not rest enough. Some first-time parents may feel overwhelmed and want to "give up," or be hard on themselves about their parenting skills especially because of how difficult it can be to soothe a crying baby2.

This is why it is important to know how to stop a baby from crying, not just for your baby's sake, but also for your peace of mind.



Why babies cry: The Dunstan Baby Language

While baby colic7 is a common cause of crying babies, parents should have a ready checklist of what the cause could be. They need to check to see if the baby is hungry, sleepy, or cold or hot, or wet, among many other factors, to find out why they are crying.

But wouldn't it be great if there was a code to decipher baby cries? 

Thankfully, Priscilla Dunstan created the Dunstan Baby Language (DBL). This is a method of figuring out what a baby's cries mean based on what their cry sounds like. You can learn how to stop a baby from crying using this technique.

According to Dunstan, there are five universal sounds that babies make to communicate their needs. Using the DBL involves listening for these cues right before your baby starts crying.

These cues are3:

  1. "Neh" – This means that the baby is hungry.

  2. "Eh" - The baby wants to be burped.

  3. "Eairh" - The baby feels gassy.

  4. "Heh" – The baby is communicating a general discomfort, such as needing a diaper change.

  5. "Owh" – They are feeling sleepy.

One study done on the DBL showed that 90% of mothers found it to be a useful method. The results further indicated that 70% of mothers who had tried it, felt more confident, and about 50% had a better night's sleep. They added that they would recommend DBL to other mothers since it proved useful when it comes to finding out what their baby wants4.

These results show a lot of potential for DBL when it comes to knowing what your baby needs and learning how to stop a baby from crying.


How to Stop a Baby From Crying: Here is What You Can Do

Sometimes, providing what your baby wants is not enough to calm them down. There are times when you have already fed, burped, and changed your baby's diaper, but they still do not want to stop crying. In these situations, here are some other things you can try that have been deemed effective, especially when learning how to stop a baby from crying5:

  • Sing or talk to your baby.

  • Stroke your baby's head gently until they fall asleep or calm down.

  • Rocking your baby gently can help soothe them when they cry.

  • Some babies calm down when you take a walk with them in your arms.

  • Other babies calm down when placed inside a stroller or a baby carriage.

  • Giving them a bath can relax your baby, and make it easier for them to calm down and fall asleep.

Some babies can really be inconsolable when they start crying, so sometimes the best thing to do is to just let them cry it out. However, you must step in should they experience distress.

Remember, it is natural for babies to cry. Learning how to calm a crying baby is part of getting to know your child, figuring out how they communicate, and discovering their personality.

Attention, dear parents! Want to learn how to stop a baby from crying and other valuable tips? Join the  Enfamama A+ Club today and gain access to free advice, FREE samples, promotions, and support from our wonderful community. 

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Want to know more about how to stop a baby from crying? Check out these other tips and questions from our parenting community.


Frequently Asked Questions on Crying Baby

  1. When is crying not normal for babies?

Persistent, very high-pitched crying (three times higher than a normal baby cry) may indicate abnormal crying, along with persistent, low-pitched crying. This may be linked to a severe or chronic illness or discomfort. It is best to consult your paediatrician to rule out any conditions.1

  1. How do I understand baby crying sounds?

Did you know that your baby cries to communicate a specific want. Listen carefully to the pattern and volume of their cries to understand them better. If your baby is hungry, their cries usually begin quietly, slowly building up in volume until the crying becomes loud and rhythmic. If they are in pain, their cries will be sharp, short, loud, and high-pitched.1

  1. What are some myths about baby crying?

One of the common myths about baby crying is that it is due to “trapped" gas in their intestines. This is not true. Gas is normal and does not cause pain or crying. Another related misconception that people have about baby crying is that it is due to the baby not burping or not spitting up. This is also not true.6


Related articles:

  1. Ultimate Wellness Guide For New Mums

  2. Types of Baby Rashes and How to Treat Them

  3. Postpartum Care: How to Deal with Feelings of Isolation, Lack of Sleep and Mood Swings

  4. Keeping your cool with a fussy baby

  5. How to Stimulate Your Baby


Expert Resource:
Dr Veena Angle
MBBS, MD Microbiology (India)

  1. Sick Kids, About Kids Health. Crying. Retrieved on August 17, 2021,

  2. National Library of Medicine. Medline Plus. Excessive crying in infants. Retrieved on September 22, 2023,,health%20problem%20that%20needs%20attention.

  3. IEEE Explore. Decoding baby talk: A novel approach for normal infant cry signal classification. Retrieved on September 11, 2023,

  4. UERM Memorial Medical Center, Inc. Research Institute for Health Sciences. The efficacy of Dunstan baby language in decreasing the parenting stress levels of housewives with 0-2 month old infants: A quasi-experimental study, UERM Health Sciences Journal. Retrieved on August 17, 2021,

  5. Responding To Your Baby's Cries - Retrieved on August 17, 2021,

  6. Crying Baby - Before 3 Months Old – Seattle Children’s Hospital. Retrieved on June 26, 2023,

  7. Colic. Mayo Clinic. April 05, 2022,