Well, as a parent, new parent or an experienced parent, either one you are, hearing baby crying is the most stressful part of parenting.
I am no expert and no parent is an expert unless there is an exception of being a doctor or a professional. However, Every baby is different and so as every parent. You cannot generalize crying of one baby with another for the same reason. What works for one child might not work for another.
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REASON WHY DO BABIES CRY
These are some of the reasons I have figured out during my motherhood journey so far. If you are a new parent you definitely need to read this because hearing your baby cry is mind jolting and you really have to keep yourself calm first and focussed to help your baby.
Some people do not have that much stamina to hear the non-stop crying of a baby, sometimes they are not used to or otherwise it is just natural. My husband cannot hear babies cry for a long time. Although he loves them, he is just not emotionally ready for this and I am sure some of you might not emotionally and physically ready. However, despite all these episodes of crying, having kids and seeing them smile, nurture, is a lifetime experience and a sheer joy in itself.
Let’s get to what you should know!
This is one of the most obvious reasons If a baby is crying you have to give them food in the form of milk. Either Breastfeed or formula feed, whatever you are choosing to feed, your baby is crying because she is hungry and she wants to be fed.
Watch out for any signs and cues for hunger, crankiness, etc.
Ideally, newborns get hungry every two hours. Breastfed babies tend to get hungry within 60 to 90 minutes after every feed. To establish a good feeding habit it is advised to feed every 2 hours. Once your milk supply settles in (known for about 3 months) then keep stretching more and more time in between feedings.
If your baby is formula-fed, then your baby might get hungry within 3 to 4 hours.
Some babies want to cry, regardless. Pacifiers can be helpful for these kinds of situations. However, it is not recommended for the first 4 to 6 weeks until moms develop good milk supply.
2. Dirty Diaper
If your baby is still crying then your baby might be dirty. For a newborn, you have to keep checking your baby’s diaper every hour. Newborns need diaper change for about 8 times at least in the early days and weeks of their life.
Some babies would not even care even if they are messy, however, some get really irritated the moment they poo.
Pampers Swaddlers have a pee detector, you can easily find out about a wet and dirty diaper.
Once your baby gets a few months old, you can switch to pampers cruisers, although, that does not have any detector, it has a better fit and absorption than any other diapers.
3. Tired or sleepy
This is the legit one – your baby is tired when there is an ongoing refusal to eat, your baby is super tired and she absolutely does not want to eat rather prefers to doze off.
In some cases, the baby gets so much tired that she does not fall asleep just because of being super tired. It is very much ideal that you let your baby naps the whole day. For babies – Sleep begets sleep. The more they sleep the more it will be easy for them to fall asleep.
Another category is when your baby keeps waking up when you put your baby to sleep, or having trouble falling asleep regardless, CHECK Baby diaper again.
If the diaper is clean – offering another 2 oz wouldn’t hurt.
If your baby happens to be a light sleeper, wakes up with every little noise. I would highly recommend using noise machine. I regret not using it earlier with my first one.
This is the one I use. It is fairly priced, not too expensive and works great for my kids. Another reason to have this, it is travel-friendly, very lightweight and portable. You can actually take it anywhere you go and your baby could be more comfortable.
Check out my post on mommy mistakes about newborns.
4. Gas Issues
This is the main culprit for newborns. Gas issues are real and they are extremely discomforting for both adults and babies. Since newborns are normally laid back, they don’t move a lot unless you massage or do baby’s legs cycling, or they grow a few more months and start moving themselves to relieve gas issues.
I understand it is not backed by science or researchers, but I personally had this issue of eating gassy food that caused baby gas issues if you are breastfeeding. It does take a while for babies to get their digestive system strong enough to handle any sort of food.
This is another reason why your baby is crying and should not be ignored. However, Colic is a different issue than gas, if your baby is colic, she is going to cry for about more than three hours a day, more than three days a week and more than three weeks. Colic babies tend to cry inconsolably for hours, sometimes for no apparent reason you could help much about, They are going to cry when they have to cry.
Good news is they are going to grow out of this colic issue within a few months.
Colic is related to gas discomforts. baby has trouble passing gas, or sometimes it is the mother’s diet which needs attention.
6. Acid reflux
Well, this is another issue when your baby is gagging or when your baby is on his back after a feed, when the food comes back in the esophagus due to an immature digestive system, baby might feel like gagging or throwing up, Sometimes they would cry out loud because of the discomfort, and they might go unconscious because of that. Eventually, your baby will throw up and feels better after that.
Those who want to sleep train on cry out strategy please do not ignore a crying baby unless they are at least 6 months old. Well exceptions aside, in my humble opinion, babies do not cry for no reason. This is their only way of communication and parents should try to address the issue in their best capacity. Even if they are colic, and you cannot do anything about this for a while, when they got to cry they are going to cry, be mindful about the discomfort they have inside.
7. Need to Burp
What happens is, you feed your baby, check diaper, and keep your baby elevated for a few minutes after each feed to have him burp. Once your baby burps, you put your baby down to sleep. Now after about half an hour your baby starts crying again and when you hold your baby up and try to soothe her, she burps again, and yeah that was the reason for crying.
Before you start nursing your baby again, try to have her burp and there is a possibility, your baby might sleep back again.
When babies grow out of the stage of infancy, they usually resolve gas issues moving here and there, However, this issue could be an issue for a long time. It highly depends on kids digestive system.
8. Uncomfortable temperature
Sometimes babies don’t sleep and they seem to be so much clingy, they want to be held up all night, make sure they are not cold. The room temperature is just about comfortable. Not too hot or not too cold.
My son had trouble sleeping in his crib and I know now why because his crib was right in front of my air-conditioning vent. I have concluded this now and I believe that could be one of the reasons he never liked sleeping in his crib.
The teething process starts when your baby is about a couple of months old or maybe more. Every baby has his or her own timeline to start over with teething. Some babies do not feel too much pain, however, for some babies, it is really painful and you can expect a lot of whining and crying.
If your baby is in pain because of teething and refusing bottle no matter how hungry she is, consider switching to a different bottle. Having a soft nipple bottle should help.
I would not suggest you use any oral gums gels for teething. Lately, teething gels containing benzocaine have been removed from the store all over the US, as they have serious risks for babies,
If your baby is having episode of crying, no matter how many times you have checked her diaper and made sure there is no gas issues, yet your baby is not settling down, then you have to see if there is any sign of illness, like cold, congestion, ear infection, any pain while peeing or pooping etc. These things should not go unnoticed.
You should always have these products handy.
Note: if your baby does not have any signs of cold or flu but still have a fever, you should always get it checked. Most of the times, it is a sign of ear infection and your baby has to take antibiotics in order to treat any kind of infection.
11. Other discomforts
There could be some other discomforts like itchiness, diaper rash, some clothing tag might be bothersome, you have to keep inspecting if there is a non-stop crying. Just to stay less worried about such issues, do not use clothes which are rough from the inside and mess up with baby’s skin.
Always make sure the clothes are comfortable, babies should not be dressed up in too tight accessories like shoes, hairbands, hats. The trousers should always be comfortable enough on the tummy to pass gas easily.
Babies love routine. When you follow a particular routine with your baby, it is very likely that if you skip anything, they might notice and cry. For instance, if you bathe your baby before bedtime for about a couple weeks or more and you might want to skip it for a day, it is very likely your baby is going to feel that change or cry for it if not done. some babies might not bother, while some would.
12. Overstimulation or change of environment
Babies are comfortable in their own surroundings. when they are taken to places that are noisy, cluttered, parties and events that are having too many grownups holding them, or having too many lights or music: they get overstimulated and cry their lungs out.
The best solution is to leave, take them for a drive, ideally HOME and wait until they get a little older to handle all this anxiety. Those babies who do not experience any daycare are more likely to have this anxiety until they get to the age of three.
13. Need Attention
Babies crave for your love and care. Showing love by showering them with hugs and kisses are not going to spoil anyone. Sometimes babies cry because they are craving for attention and they don’t want to stay in their bouncer or crib for that long.
Hold them, offer a toy, introduce a pacifier if you feel there is a need.
Getting newborn book is a great idea. Babies love to hear their Mamas reading to them. Give it a shot and give them your undivided attention as much as you can.
How you can help to soothe crying baby
1. Give baby a soothing massage, on legs back and tummy.
2. Cuddle, rock, hug as long as you can.
3. Try bicycle moves or a nice bouncer should help.
4, Give her a warm bath. Check out my post about baby bathing.
5. Take her for a ride in a car. A moving vehicle could help soothing crying babies.
6. In case it is a summer season, remove clothing layers if you have a too few on. Otherwise putting on another layer if your baby is cold could help too.
8. Last but not least offering baby a pacifier who just want to suck on breast or bottle. Pacifier is not recommended for the first 4 to 6 weeks until moms establish good milk supply.
You should keep a close eye on your baby. Call your doctor if you see signs of any health condition.
Let me know in comments what have been your struggles and your reasons for a crying baby. How did you manage to soothe?