Advice Column, Baby, Bonitas, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby

Reasons why your baby is crying

  • Bonitas
  • Category Advice Column, Baby, Bonitas, Health, Parenting, Pregnancy & Baby

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

If your baby is crying, the first step is trying to figure out the reason.  Some of the most common reasons why a baby is crying are:

  • Hunger is usually the first thing you should think of – they may give other signs first like rooting, fussing, smacking their lips and putting their hands to their lips.
  • A dirty diaper – many infants don’t like a wet or dirty diaper, so changing their diaper when they cry is a simple thing you can do to help calm them.
  • In need of sleep – babies may not just nod off to sleep when they are tired, they may get fussy and cry, so after feeding and changing diapers you may want to try soothing activities like finding a quiet place, holding them close and rocking them to help them get to sleep.
  • Wanting to be held – babies like to be cuddled, so if you have tried all of the above tips without success it could be that your baby just wants you to hold and cuddle them; also talk in a soft voice or sing softly.
  • Tummy troubles – babies can develop gas pains, colic, constipation, milk allergies and other conditions that make them cry; if this happens often talk with your doctor about ways you can soothe their tummy.
  • Needing to burp – a trapped gas bubble in your baby’s stomach can make them uncomfortable, so if they are crying after a feeding, try burping them to see if that helps.

Additional reasons are mentioned in the following tip.

Additional reasons why your baby is crying

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

In addition to the reasons mentioned in the previous tip, the following are reasons why your baby may be crying:

  • Temperature troubles – babies will often cry if they are too cold, this may happen when you are changing them or washing them; it can also happen if they are too hot, though this is less common.
  • Little irritations – babies are very sensitive to small discomforts like a hair wrapped around a finger or toe, scratchy clothing or being placed in the wrong position, so look for little discomforts if the big things don’t appear to be the cause of their distress.
  • Teething – newborns don’t have teeth coming in but sometimes their teeth will move around under the gums causing them discomfort; their teeth won’t usually start to come in until they are about 4-7 months; a cold washcloth and gentle pressure on their gums may be soothing.
  • Over stimulation – newborns can’t always process all the things that are going on around them, so if you think your baby may be suffering from too much stimulation take them to a quiet spot away from bright lights, hold them close and soothe them until they can calm down.
  • Not enough stimulation – some babies are outgoing and like to see what’s going on around them, so if you think this is your baby’s issue try carrying them in a sling, front carrier or backpack so they can get the extra stimulation they need.
  • Not feeling well – if you’ve met all your baby’s basic needs and they are still crying and fussy they could be coming down with something, so keep a close eye on them, check their temperature if you think they might have a fever and contact your doctor if needed.

Things to try to comfort a crying baby

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

Sucking is soothing for a baby and can lower their heart rate and relax their stomach, so give them a pacifier or a clean finger to suck on when nothing else seems to stop their crying.

Babies are used to being warm and secure in the womb so when all else fails try imitating that experience by swaddling them and holding them securely or carry them with you in a sling.

Some babies respond well to sound and movement, so try putting on some music and dancing with them – gently of course!

Try white noise – often babies like noises that mimic the whooshing sounds they heard before they were born, so try running the vacuum cleaner, a fan or the water faucet or use a recording of a water fountain, a gurgling stream or waves.

A change of scenery can sometimes help, so dress your baby appropriately and step outside your front door; walk around slowly and talk in a soothing tone.

Get them moving – babies like motion so try carrying them around or take them for a ride in the stroller or the car; sometime this will work when nothing else seems to help.

Massage may be helpful for some babies – don’t worry about knowing the right movements, just try a soft, gentle massage in a warm place free from drafts.

Start all over again – sometimes it’s helpful just to start at the top of the list again; change their diaper, hold them close, feed them if their hungry and see if something works the second time around.

If you ever think your baby is in distress because of a health-related issue don’t hesitate to contact your doctor.

No question is ever “dumb” if it involves the wellbeing of your baby!

Feeling frustrated when a baby won’t stop crying

The following information is to be used as a guide to and at the discretion of the end-user and should not replace a doctor’s opinion.

Keep in mind that crying won’t hurt your baby, they may just need a release so let them cry.

Put your baby down and let him/her cry for a while – make sure it’s a safe place like a crib or baby swing, they may even cry themselves to sleep.

Call someone whose advice you trust – a friend or relative who has experienced the same thing can be very supportive.

Take a break and let someone you trust take over for you – take a nap, take a walk, or even a hot shower to help you unwind.

Put on some quiet calming music to help you distract yourself. Take some slow deep breaths – deep breathing can help you relax and calm down.

Remind yourself that your baby will outgrow this phase – repeat those words to yourself for reassurance.

Never take out your frustration on your baby – shaking them will only make them more upset and could hurt them.

Remember, if you ever feel like you might hurt yourself or the baby call for help right away and get additional support from family and friends.

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