Calming a Fussy Baby


This topical guide will introduce you to important books, videos, and information resources available from the EI Clearinghouse and other sources.

Contact us via online form or by phone (1-877-275-3227) to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian). Note that some videos may be viewed online, and journal titles will take you to the publisher’s homepage.

baby crying


Calming Your Fussy Baby: The Brazelton Way
T. Berry Brazelton and Joshua Sparrow
Perseus, 2003
In this book, Dr. Brazelton describes the ways that babies communicate through crying and discusses effective ways that parents can respond to different cries.
Call#: WS 113 .B827c 2003

How to Say No to Your Toddler
Will Wilkoff
Broadway Books, 2003
This book focuses on how to convey “No” to a toddler in a way that will help to prevent temper tantrums, as well as other aspects of toddler development that trigger tantrums.
Call#: HQ 774.5.W687 2003

I Brake for Meltdowns: How to Handle the Most Exasperating Behavior of Your 2- to 5-Year-Old
Michelle Nicholasen and Barbara O’Neal
Da Capo Press, 2008
This book includes real-life stories about temper tantrums and other challenging behaviors and how to manage them successfully.
Call#: HQ 774.5 N596 2008

The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer
Harvey Karp
Penguin Random House, 2015
This fully revised and updated book includes the latest insights into infant sleep, bedsharing, breastfeeding, swaddling, and SIDS risk.
Call#: WM 188 .K148 2015
For instructions on how to access this eBook, please read Getting Started with eBooks.

The Happiest Toddler on the Block
Harvey Karp
Bantam Books, 2008
This book explains how tantrums in toddlers are normal but avoidable, what leads to temper tantrums, how to communicate effectively with toddlers, and how to reduce tantrums.
Call#: HQ 774.5 K18h 2008

The wonder weeks : how to stimulate your baby’s mental development and help him turn his 10 predictable, great, fussy phases into magical leaps forward
Vanderijt, Hetty
KW Publishing, 2013
The book is based on the scientific- and parental-world-changing discovery of a phenomenon: all normal, healthy babies appear to be more fussy at very nearly the same ages, regression periods, and sleep less in these phases.
Call#: HQ 778.63 .van21 2013

Toddler discipline for every age and stage: effective strategies to tame tantrums, overcome challenges, and help your child grow
Aubrey Hargis
Rockridge Press, 2018
The book offers practical, age-appropriate toddler discipline strategies for managing the everyday challenges of toddlerhood and guiding your child to becoming their best self.
Call#: HQ 774.5 .H37 2018

Toddlers’ Tantrums and Other Bad Behavior
Allison Mackonochie
Carroll & Brown, 2004
This book includes information about temper tantrums, including steps for parents to prevent them from happening.
Call#: HQ 774.5.M159t 2004


Baby instructions. Newborn to crawler
Meridian Education Corp., 2013
61 min; DVD
This video helps parents and caregivers create the best possible environment in which to maximize a baby’s learning potential. Topics include gross motor development, reading a baby’s cues, tummy time, language development, crawling, communication, calming an infant, establishing routines, feeding, encouraging play, and dressing.
Call#: WS 105 .B119new 2011

Toddlers: Social and Emotional Development
28 min; DVD
Learning Seed, 2009
This closed-caption DVD includes information on how toddlers come to understand how their actions, including tantrums, can affect others.
Call#: WS 105.S678 Vol.2  

132 min; DVD
ConsumerVision; 2006
By watching a dozen families in unique situations, Dr. T. Berry Brazelton shows how and why children develop the way they do. Touchpoints are defined as periods of time that precede rapid growth in learning for parent and child. This DVD provides comprehensive information on development of infants and toddlers, including how to manage temper tantrums and excessive crying appropriately.
Call#: WS 105 .T722d 2006


Fussy Baby Network
If you’re struggling to care for a baby who is fussy, crying excessively, or has difficulties with sleeping or feeding, contact the Fussy Baby Network at Erikson Institute. Call our warmline at 1.888.431.BABY (2229) for telephone support nationwide. Services available in Spanish and English.


Technical Assistance Center on Social Emotional Intervention (TACSEI) Backpack Connection Series
How to Help Your Child Recognize and Understand Anger
Alyson Jiron, et al. (2012)
There are many things that make children angry, and children feel anger in different ways — just as adults do. As with all emotions, when you help your child recognize and name his anger you have helped him take the first step toward being able to control his own behavior.

Web Resources

How I Communicate (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

Fuss Management: Comforting Your Child (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

Just-Right Sensory Play (EIC)
A parent-friendly tip sheet created by the Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse. Also available in Spanish.

Family Life: Temper Tantrums
This website from the American Academy of Pediatrics provides tips on how caregivers can handle temper tantrums. Also in Spanish.

Fuss Management: Comforting the Irritable Child
You’re out in public with your toddler or preschooler when the whining starts. Don’t panic! When you take a calm, problem-solving approach, you help your child learn to calm himself when he is irritable. Also in Spanish and Polish

Fuss Management: Planning Ahead to Prevent Tantrums
There’s no sure cure for young children’s public temper tantrums. But some simple steps can reduce the chances that your toddler or preschooler will “pitch a fit” when you run errands together. Also available in Spanish and Polish.

Fussy Baby Network
Services available from the network include parent groups, a “warmline,” and an infant specialist who will work with parents to find effective ways to care for their baby. All services are available in English and Spanish.

How to Calm a Fussy Baby: Tips for Parents & Caregivers
This page, from the American Academy of Pediatrics, provides several tips for calming and comforting a crying baby. Also available in Spanish.

Temper Tantrums (KidsHealth)
This website from the Nemours Foundation explains why children have temper tantrums and how to avoid them. Also in Spanish.

Temper Tantrums (Medline Plus)
This website from the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health provides information to understand temper tantrums and what parents can do when children exhibit this behavior. Also available in Spanish.

Temper Tantrums: Guidelines for Parents
This website from the National Association of School Psychologists provides information for parents and teachers on how to manage temper tantrums, prevent them from happening, and what to do after they occur.

Temper Tantrums: How to Keep the Peace
This website from the Mayo Clinic provides information about why temper tantrums occur and how parents should react to them. Also available in Spanish.

Understanding Children: Temper Tantrums
This pamphlet from Iowa State University provides information about temper tantrums and questions for caregivers to create a “plan of action” for the child.

Related Resource(s)