Crying is often related to hunger, and feeding is the obvious solution. However, periods of crying, with no obvious cause and no ready cure, plague many parents. Here are a few suggestions. Give several a try. One may work today and another may work tomorrow. Be flexible, and know that “this too will end”.


  • Periods of inconsolable crying
  • Clenching fists
  • Drawing legs up to abdomen
  • Stiffening as if in pain
  • Passing gas
  • Grimacing

Possible causes: (may be more than one)

  • Immature gastro-intestinal system
  • Sensitive nervous system
  • Excessive gas or over-feeding
  • Formula intolerance
  • Reaction to foods the breastfeeding mother has eaten
  • Over-stimulation

Possible remedies:

  • Motion in any form
  • Walking
  • Baby swing
  • Rocking in rocking chair
  • Rocking side to side while standing
  • Ride in the car or in a stroller
  • Carry baby in infant sling
  • Over-the-counter gas-relief drops
  • Singing
  • White sound (running water, vacuum, clothes dryer, hair dryer)
  • Recordings with strong beat designed to simulate intrauterine sounds
  • Swaddle your baby snugly
  • Undress your baby and allow complete freedom of motion
  • Avoid over-stimulation from noises, lights or motion
  • Distract the baby with different sounds, sights or places
  • Place pressure on your baby’s abdomen (gently)
  • Hold baby in the “colic hold” (facing floor, supported by your arm, heel of your hand putting pressure on the abdomen)
  • Hold baby over your shoulder or over your knees

Bicycle your baby’s legs
Keep a food diary to determine if a particular food bothers your baby
Consult a Lactation Consultant who may suggest feeding on only one breast per feeding or other techniques to balance the “foremilk” and “hindmilk” your baby obtains while breastfeeding

Take a break, let someone else try for awhile.

Reprinted with permission

Copyright © 2001 Lactation Education Resources

The Author:

Lactation Education Resources provides training for professionals in lactation management and classes for new parents.

Photo. Idaho



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