By Claudia Bykofsky

There are a ton of normal reasons why babies cry, including, of course, the fact that it’s their sole way of “talking.” In fact, we are hard-wired to respond to a crying baby. It’s natural and crucial for your little one’s well-being. But, admit it, dads are not good at handling crying babies at first. It’s the most challenging reality new dads have to deal with.

Here’s the low-down on why babies cry (a lot) and tried-and-true tips on how dads can handle the crying babies without wrecking their nerves.

Top 3 Reasons Why Babies Cry

Babies tear up a lot throughout their first calendar year, with the first three months being the most hectic for dads. However, when a baby cries, she is probably trying to tell you one of the following three things:

I am tired

We all know how it feels to be cranky and tired after staying up too long. The same goes for your baby, only that she depends on you to put her to sleep.

I am hungry

You see, babies do not get what hunger is before they are born. They get fed automatically in the womb. Once they are born, however, they have to express their displeasure with hunger pangs through crying.

I am uncomfortable

When your baby cries, the chances are that she’s uncomfortable. Perhaps she has just filled her diaper or is sleepy. It’s high time you change her or give her a nice bath. That’s what superdads do!

Remember these are just but only the top 3 — there are several different other reasons why babies cry including when they are sick, in pain, scared, and bored.

Tips for Dads on How to Handle A Crying Baby

So, you need to get a handle on a baby that cries a lot. If you have taken the obvious measures to stop the crying — bathing, changing and feeding. But, the baby won’t stop crying, there are a number of tips that can help you cope for several more minutes without losing it.

Constant Background Noise

It’s pure science that continuous background noise does help stop a baby from crying. It could be anything including a running shower, gentle music, a washing machine or even TV static sound. They work like a charm for some babies.

Take a Walk or Drive

Sometimes a baby is just bored, and a change of scenery might do the trick. A walk or drive will induce some gentle lulling motion.

Talk to the Baby – Quietly

It’s a well-known fact that babies love to hear voices — it’s quite soothing for them.

Sing to Her

Again, some sound or singing will soothe the baby.

You Should Never Shake the Baby

It’s only natural sometimes to get angry with your crying baby. Of course, not getting angry is one of those things which are easier said than done. But, at no time should you ever shake her. That’s a big no-no and can lead to lifetime damage. Think of internal bleeding, brain damage, or even worse.

Never Shout at Your Baby

If you’re a bit riled up, don’t shout at your baby. You’ll only be making it worse. When you feel the anger creeping in, place your baby in her cot and take five.