Why does my baby cry
on 04th April 2013 |Anyone who has ever even seen a baby knows that babies cry, but until you have one of your own you may not have given much thought as to why babies cry. Babies cry for lots of different reasons, after all, it is their only means of communication. The good news is that as you and your baby get to know each other better you will be able to tell what different cries mean. A hungry cry will sound different than an 'I need a diaper' cry. Let's talk about some of the different reasons that babies cry and what you can do to help soothe them. |
Being hungry is one of the most common reasons that babies cry. Newborn babies need to eat every couple of hours and they are not shy about letting you know that it is time to eat again. Your baby's hungry cry will probably be the one that you learn to recognize first. If your baby is crying because they are hungry feeding them should soothe them. Learning to recognize your baby's hunger signs like fussing, rooting, or putting their hands in their mouth can help you to prevent your baby from crying because they are hungry.
Needing a diaper change is also a common reason that babies cry. If you know that your baby is not hungry and they are crying checking their diaper should be the first thing that you try to soothe them.
Babies need a lot of sleep and if they are tired they may let you know by crying. Sometimes if babies are overtired they may have a tough time falling asleep and this can make them very fussy. If your baby has been fed and changed try helping them get to sleep. All babies have different rituals they like to fall asleep. Some want a special blanket, some need a pacifier, and some want to be gently rocked until they fall asleep.
Babies often cry because they want to be held. Babies need a lot of attention and sometimes they just want to be cuddled. Babies want to be able to hear a heartbeat or hear mom's voice, and skin to skin contact is also very important to them. Many new parents worry that they will spoil their baby by holding them too much, but that is impossible. If your arms get tired or you need your hands free, you may want to consider a baby sling so that you can wear your baby and keep them close.
Your baby may cry because their little tummy hurts. This can be caused by gas, constipation, or worse colic. Colic is when your baby cries for hours on end and cannot be soothed because their tummy hurts so badly. Unfortunately, there is nothing that you can do about colic except for trying to soothe your baby and waiting for them to grow out of it. If your baby does not normally cry after eating and now they are they may just have gas. You can try giving your baby gas drops or laying them on their back and gently pushing their legs up to their tummy.
Babies often cry because they need to burp. Not all babies burp, or need to, after every single feeding but even those who don't always will need to sometimes. Babies get air trapped in their tummies whether they are breastfed or bottle fed and sometimes they need a little help getting it out. If your baby has recently eaten, has a clean diaper, and is still crying put them up on your shoulder for a minute and pat their back. They may surprise you with a nice burp and quiet right down.
Babies will often cry because they are too hot or too cold. Newborns especially can have a difficult time regulating their body temperature, but they do like to be snuggled up and warm. The general rule of thumb is that babies need one more layer of clothing or blankets than you do to be warm.
Teething can be another reason that your normally happy baby begins to cry a lot. Believe it or not teething can begin as early as three or four months old and can be quite painful for your baby. If your baby begins gnawing on their hands or sucking on their gums it is a pretty safe bet that your baby is teething. Some other signs of teething are lots of drool (more than usual), a low-grade fever, and diarrhea. If your baby is teething you can give them an appropriate dose of infant pain reliever like Tylenol or Advil. You can also wet a small cloth and put it in the freezer and give it to your baby to gnaw on. You can also give your baby teething rings or other teething toys to gnaw on.
Your baby may also cry because they want more or less stimulation. Babies can get overstimulated very easy by too much noise, light, or even being passed around from person to person. If you think that your baby is a little overstimulated take them into a darkened, quiet room and rock them gently until they calm down. Your baby may also cry if they are bored and need more stimulation. Some babies are happier when they are engaged and can see everything that is happening around them. In this case, the baby sling can come in handy so you can carry baby along with you while you complete other tasks.
As you can see babies cry for many reasons, and that is the only way that they can let you know that something isn't right or is making them uncomfortable. Having a baby that cries a lot can be very stressful and overwhelming for their parents and especially for their mom. Having a support system in place can be very helpful for when you need a break so that you can recharge. No matter how much your baby cries if you find yourself reaching your breaking point you need to walk away. Even if you step outside for two or three minutes for a breath of fresh air it can help to recharge you. Just make sure that your baby is in a safe place like their crib or bassinet first.
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