Why is your newborn crying inconsolably?
Most of the first time parents as this question. Unfair as it may sound, newborns know only one language to communicate and that is “Crying.”
Hearing a baby cry is the most challenging part of parenting as you have to keep yourself composed so you can actually be receptive to your child’s needs.
With all those postpartum hormones, sleep deprived days and nights, and new mom exhaustion, it very normal to feel agitated to hear a baby crying constantly. Sometimes you see your efforts are not working anymore to console a baby.
Babies do not always cry due to one particular reason. You will learn as you go, as every baby is different. Some babies may cry more than usual, while a few are cool as a cucumber.
Typically, most babies cry for some very obvious reasons like, hunger, dirty diaper and gas issues, but you may notice some would not even bother diaper change and go hours without crying.
In this post, you will see what are the common reasons for your baby might be crying.
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What are the reasons for the baby crying
Some people naturally have less tolerance to hear the baby crying, so if you are one of them you have to make sure you are composed enough to help a crying baby.
1. Baby is Hungry
Ideally, newborns need to be fed every two hours. Breastfed babies tend to get hungry within 60 to 90 minutes after every feed. Try to nurse or feed the baby (breastmilk or formula) every two hours to establish a healthy eating schedule. However, once you establish your milk supply, keep stretching more and more time in between feedings.
Formula-fed babies may take longer (about 3 to 4 hours) to get hungry again. As a new parents it is very important to understand the feeding schedule to encounter less crying.
Also, crying increases hunger, so let your baby cry for a couple of minutes to have an awesome feeding session.
Keep in mind, your baby may have growth spurts with time. Baby wants more feed as they grow – For that reason offering another 2 ounces of feed wouldn’t hurt if your baby keeps waking up from sleep – not as scheduled.
Using a Pacifier can be helpful for babies who want to suckle most of the time. However, you can delay introducing a pacifier to your newborn for the first couple of weeks until moms develop an adequate milk supply.
2. Dirty Diaper
Newborns poop all day long. You can expect to change 10 to 15 diaper in a day.
Some babies would not even care even if they are messy, however, some get really irritated the moment they poo. You will soon find out what category your baby falls into, former or later.
Pampers Swaddlers have a pee detector, you can easily find out about a wet and dirty diaper.
Once your baby turns a few months old, you can switch to pampers cruisers, Although cruisers do not have any detector, it has a better fit and absorption than any other diapers.
3. Tired or sleepy
The baby might be tired and prefers to sleep rather than eating. For that reason, keeping a baby on a rock-solid feeding and sleeping schedule – right from the start- is very important.
Sometimes, the baby gets so much tired that she does not fall asleep simply because of overstimulation throughout the day. Having your baby nap during the day is equally essential. They say, for babies – Sleep begets sleep.
As a new parent, you should not make sleep mistakes from the start of your motherhood journey. Get this sleep ebook and see how you can undo your sleep mistakes with your baby.
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 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?