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Family Adjustments


It can be frustrating when your baby won’t stop crying despite all attempts to comfort him or her. If you have trouble with a crying baby, remember the following:

  • Stay calm
  • Take a break
  • Have a friend or family member watch the baby
  • Call someone
  • If help isn’t available, put your baby in a safe place (crib or playpen) and go into the next room for a few minutes

Never shake your baby. Shaking a baby out of frustration can cause severe damage to a baby’s brain and result in injury or death.

Sleep and awake states

When you first bring your newborn home, he or she may sleep 16 to 20 hours a day. Don’t worry if your baby startles or whimpers when sleeping; this is normal.

When your baby is awake and given the right stimulation, he or she may be very receptive to you.

Try the following:

  • Speak in a calm, quiet voice
  • Touch him or her in soothing ways
  • Make eye contact (newborns see at six to eight inches and prefer faces or dark/light contrast)

Your baby may respond by cooing and listening to your voice. When the baby tires of the experience, he or she may turn away, seem disinterested or even fall asleep. This only means that the infant is tired of the activity and not bored with you.

Sibling rivalry

Here are some ways to reduce sibling rivalry:

  • Discuss the addition of the new baby
  • Encourage other children to speak about their feelings
  • Encourage family members and friends to acknowledge older children first
  • Offer a small snack to older children when feeding the baby
  • Include older children in the baby’s care
  • Spend time alone with the baby’s siblings

VirtuaBaby content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you’ve read on VirtuaBaby. If you think you are experiencing a medical emergency, call your  doctor or 911 immediately.

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