Secrets to settling a crying baby

Everybody knows babies cry. But how much they cry, for how long and why still remains a mystery. And whilst it's fine digesting that information in theory, there is no sound more ear-piercing, gut-wrenching and stomach churning to any mother than the sound of her newborn wailing.

But if you are identifying with this, it may help to know you are not alone. According to renowned Victorian pediatrician, Dr Harry Zehnwirth, one in three babies cry excessively for the first few months of their lives - and this is almost never due to something the parent is doing wrong.

"It's normal for babies to cry up to 3 hours every day, and mostly this occurs in the late afternoon or evening," says Dr Harry.

"This can be due to the baby's innate temperament, or even just managing the transition from the womb."

What Dr Harry also understands is the stress this places on parents - and the resulting exhaustion that usually falls on the mother.

"New parents often feel overwhelmed by all of the conflicting advice they receive. At the same time, they feel anxious and helpless when their baby cries. If parents feel they are a failure because they are unable to stop their baby crying, this can be followed by feelings of inadequacy, and may lead to post natal depression," Dr Harry explains.

Faced with the challenge of wanting to help his newborn patients and their desperate parents; Dr Harry set himself a challenge to create a solution.

At first, he tried music; simple lullabies and soothing rhythms to try and get babies to sleep. And what he discovered was that they don't work.

"Crying babies don't respond to lullabies - they don't like the gaps in the music," he said.

"It makes sense. When you think about the constant noise babies are exposed to inside the womb; the sound of the mother's heart, breathing, digestive system that never stop, along with all of the noises outside her body."

So Dr Harry set about emulating the sounds of the womb. He put together a CD based on every day household sounds and maternal physiological noises, which can be played constantly without a break. Called "Sounds for Silence", Dr Harry says he has found his product to be stunningly effective.

"I've called it the 21st century symphony; soothing babies with combined sounds of the vacuum cleaner, the washing machine, drier and coffee machine. Parents who have come to see me desperate for a medical solution have been amazed at the effect on their baby."

The CD is packaged with a practical book which provides parents with practical tips, ideas and support for raising their new family member.

For more information about settling your baby, or the Sounds for Silence package, please visit