It is a fact of life that babies cry but figuring out why is my baby crying can be the first step in getting your baby to stop crying. The average newborn baby cries for about two hours per day spread our over several crying sessions. Crying is a form of communication for babies as they are not able to meet their basic needs themselves. Babies needs include food, proper clothing and a safe environment. By crying the baby is telling the parent that he or she needs something and is looking for the parent to respond to that request. In the beginning it is often a challenge to figure out why your baby is crying but as you get to know your baby better you will more easily be able to identify why your baby is crying. As your baby grows the child will use other methods like pointing, noise making, smiling and other means to communicate his or her needs but until then crying is primary form of letting you know he or she needs something.
Many parents will ask why do babies cry?
Figuring out why your baby is crying is the first step in figuring out how to have baby stop crying.
Babies cry because they are hungry, they want to be held and comforted, they are tired and need to sleep, they are to cold or to hot, they have a dirty diaper, they want to play or want a toy, they are teething, they do not feel well, they are over or under stimulated, or they just want to cry. As you can see there are a lot of reasons a baby will cry and over time you will get better at identifying why your baby is crying.
Baby is crying because baby is hungry.
A hungry baby is the most common reason a young baby is crying. Even if a baby has eaten recently often a cry means he or she is still hungry and wants to eat some more. The first day or so when your milk is still coming in, a breastfed baby may want to eat very often. During the first few days, a formula fed baby will usually want to be fed slightly less often than a breastfed baby. It helps to feed often the first few days for breastfed moms in order to make the breast milk come in. A crying baby might continue to cry for a bit while feeding, so let the baby continue to feed until he or she does not want anymore. While being breastfed or using a bottle, a baby will take in air which can cause discomfort. Burping the baby after feeding can remove the air and make the child more comfortable.
Baby is crying because baby wants to be held and comforted.
A newborn baby will cry because the baby wants physical contact with mom and dad. The soothing comfort of being embraced by the people the baby trusts most can help the baby feel secure and safe. Cuddling is a way for the baby to bond with the parents. Often a crying newborn baby will stop crying the moment mom or dad starts holding the child and gently swinging the baby back and forth while singing can make the infant very comfortable and relaxed. Some studies show that a baby is soothed by being able to listen to the heartbeat of the parents since it is a sound that the baby heard while in the mom's belly during pregnancy. Baby products like slings can help to hold the baby close to the parent for longer periods of time. A popular misconception is that you can spoil the baby by holder him or her for to long. This is not true, as a baby in the first few months needs close physical contact with the parents and so you should not worry if you spend a great deal of time holding the baby.
Baby is crying because baby are tired and need to sleep.
A newborn baby will sleep many times throughout the day and figuring out when a baby is tired and needs to sleep is something you learn from signals your baby gives you. A baby who needs rest might cry for insignificant things, might get overly excited, might stare at nothing in particular, might just sit there quietly or might resist any other actions you take to console the baby. A very excited baby that has been around active siblings or was held by visitors may be overly tired and may have trouble falling asleep. Try finding a quite place to lay down, hold the baby, and then lightly sing so the baby can relax and fall asleep. Be careful not to fall asleep yourself, as it can be dangerous if a baby is sleeping on top of the mom or dad and they themselves fall asleep and roll over.
Baby is crying because baby is cold or hot.
Babies are very in tune with their environment and can get upset if they are feeling to cold or to hot. The nursery should be kept at about 65 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 degrees Celcius. A newborn baby generally likes to be warmly bundled up and may start crying if getting a diaper change as her skin is momentarily exposed to the cool air. On the other hand, a baby who is overdressed may get to warm and start crying because of that so it is important not to overdress the child. The rule of thumb is that a baby should wear one extra layer of clothing than you yourself is wearing at the moment. When baby is sleeping in the crib, if you touch the baby's stomach - touching the hands or feet will not help much as they often feel cool - you can feel if the baby is to hot or to cold. Add a layer if the baby feels cold or remove a layer of clothing if the baby feels to warm.
Baby is crying because baby has a dirty diaper.
A newborn baby will have lots of dirty diapers and a dirty diaper can irritate a baby's skin which will make the baby cry. If a baby is not hungry, then often a dirty diaper is the reason a baby is crying. Changing the diaper can make baby feel more comfortable again and help stop the baby from crying. Some babies can tolerate having a dirty diaper without crying right away while other babies are quickly bothered by a soiled diaper and will let you know almost immediately they want to be changed.
Baby is crying because baby wants a toy or wants to play.
A newborn baby can enjoy be stimulated by toys or by playing with the parents. The baby will often enjoy this sort of interaction and will cry in order to get mom and dads attention. Playing is one of the best ways for baby to learn about the many new things around them and to begin understanding how their arms and legs are something they can control.
Baby is crying because baby does not feel well.
If this is the case do not hesitate to contact your baby's pediatrician. Nobody understands your baby as well you do so if your baby is telling you they do not feel well by crying the cry itself might be different from other times the baby is crying. Often a baby not feeling well will by having a higher pitched cry, a weaker cry, a longer more continuous cry or some combination of those. On the other hand, a baby who normally cries a lot, but instead is strangely quite and not crying can be a sign that your baby is not feeling well and needs help. When a baby is crying and has a fever, diarrhea, constipation, vomiting or trouble breathing do not hesitate to contact your baby's health care provider.
A baby's stomach and digestive system can often be a reason a baby is upset. Gas and constipation are common things that affect babies and can make them uncomfortable. If your pediatrician is okay with it, try using over-the-counter gripe water to relieve gas. Also, laying your son or daughter on his or her back and gently bicycling his feet around can alleviate gas issues as well. Gas is not the only stomach ache issue a baby can have and pediatricians will often find a baby has a case of constipation, a milk allergy or lactose intolerance, infant acid reflux, stomach flu, or blocked intestines.
Baby is crying because of teething.
Around the fifth or sixth month, maybe sooner or maybe later, a baby's first tooth will start coming in. When a baby starts to teeth the pain can often cause crying as the tooth pushes on the gums. You can feel the gum line and if it is hard it is likely a tooth about to break through. The discomfort and pain will go away once the tooth has broken through the gum line, except that babies have multiple teeth and therefore another baby tooth is probably going to be coming through soon repeating the uncomfortable cries. Many products exist to ease the teething process such as chew toys and teething rings.
Baby is crying because of a desire to be stimulated or wants less stimulation.
There are many new things to see and do for a baby in this very big world that is around them. Sometimes processing all of the different things around them can cause overload and cause a baby to cry because he or she wants less stimulation. Other times, activity and new experiences can be just what the baby wants. For babies that are over stimulated some quiet time and book reading might help. For babies that desire more stimulation a walk in the stroller or a new activity can satisfy their desires.
Baby is crying because baby just wants to cry.
A baby sometimes cries for no particular reason. Often this is the case for babies that are younger than six months old who will cry in the early evenings without any specific reason for crying. These late afternoon crying sessions can last for short periods of time or can extend for a couple hours despite every effort to soothe the baby. Alongside crying a baby will arch its back, pull its knees up towards its chest, clench its fist, make painful looking facial expressions, or swing and kick arms uncontrollably. This period of time can be very frustrating for parents as your best efforts to console your baby do not seem to work, but you need to realize this is normal and eventually your baby will get over this crying for no particular reason phase.
A common condition for healthy babies who have daily crying sessions without any particular reason to cry has been named colic. Lasting for a few weeks or longer, a colic baby will cry and cry despite your best efforts to soothe him or her and these crying sessions can last for several hours each day. Scientist continue to learn more about colic, but many point to intolerance of a certain ingredient in breast milk or formula that causes an uncomfortable reaction for the baby. Other scientists believe that this condition is normal and is not linked to reactions in breast milk or formula, noting that the period of time in which a baby goes through this will come to an end eventually. The period of time usually reaches its maximum during about two months of age and will then begin to reduce their bouts of crying in the third and fourth month with the phase ending around the fifth month. This is often one of the most trying times for new parents as it can be quite stressful to be unable to comfort your baby in a way that stops him or her from crying.