How to Cope With Your Fussy Baby


The Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Coalition in Tennessee offers the following advice regarding dealing with your fussy baby.

Every parent has access to the 24-hour Parent Helpline (800-CHILDREN) for support.

When dealing with a fussy baby, remember to consider what might be bothering your baby—and what you can do to help. Your baby might:

  • Be hungry
  • Need to burp
  • Have a wet/dirty diaper
  • Be tired
  • Be sick
  • Need attention
  • Have had too much activity

Watch this video with tips for how to safely care for a fussy baby:

Have a plan when you feel stressed from caring for a new baby:

  • Breathe – Take some deep breaths to help reduce feelings of anger and tension.
  • The 10-foot rule – Place your baby in a safe place and walk 10 feet away until you have calmed down.
  • Take a break – Gently lay your baby down on his or her back and take a break.
  • Talk to someone – Call a friend or a relative who will listen and be caring. It can help to share your thoughts and feelings.
  • Go for a walk with your baby – A simple walk around the block can help calm both you and your baby.
  • If you are at a breaking point or need someone to talk to, call the Parent Helpline:800-CHILDREN.

Parents share advice in this Have a Plan video.

Remember, never shake a baby! You can’t make a baby stop crying, and shaking is dangerous. Doing so can cause lasting injuries and even death. If you are at a breaking point, the Tennessee Parent Helpline is available 24/7 for you to call and get caring support. Call 1-800-356-6767 day or night to talk to someone who will listen and can guide you through a stressful time.

To find out more about the Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Coalition, or to get more information about the Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention program in Tennessee, email Jennifer Vaida at


Shaken baby syndrome does not result from gentle bouncing, playful swinging or tossing the child in the air, or jogging with the child. It also is very unlikely to occur from accidents such as falling off chairs or down stairs, or accidentally being dropped from a caregiver's arms. Short falls may cause other types of head injuries, although these are often minor.