Babies don’t have many ways to let us know that they need something. In fact, they only have one: crying. They are hardwired to cry for help and we are hardwired to figure out what they want. We get downright anxious if we can’t figure it out. Parents quickly learn to distinguish the many different cries of their baby, but at first, they may need to do a bit of troubleshooting. Here are some of the reasons your baby may be crying.
- She Wants to Be Held
Don’t listen when people tell you that you will spoil your baby by picking her up too much. There is no such thing as spoiling a newborn. Being held is a basic need for her now, and will be for a while. Your baby needs to smell you and see you and know that you will keep her safe. Hold your baby as much as you can now. You’ll miss the cuddling when she has more important toddler business to attend to.
- He’s Hungry
This speaks for itself. Keep your baby on a regular feeding schedule to avoid a meltdown before each feeding.
- Her Diaper Is Dirty
Laying around in a wet or dirty diaper is no fun. Even though she wants her diaper changed, she may even cry while you are changing her. Our son hated being changed and would scream until his diaper was on completely. This could be that the sensation of the cold wipe and the air on their bottom is uncomfortable to them. Be patient, this is all new to her. In the meantime, I would suggest honing your quick diaper change skills.
- He’s Tired
It’s not always easy for babies to get to sleep, as I’m sure you already know since you’re here. Sometimes, just being held can help him get to sleep. Other times, and in some cases every time, you may need to resort to other methods, such as a routine, noise machines, swaddling, etc.
- Illness or Pain
If baby is in pain, he will cry to let you know. This cry may be louder and sound more shrill than his other cries, because this is more urgent. He needs your help. Check him over for what may be hurting him, take his temperature and call his doctor if you have any concerns. It is better to stay on the safe side with an infant.
- She Has Gas
We all know that gas can be painful. Now imagine you’re feeling that for the first time and you can’t tell anyone. Help baby pass gas by rocking her legs up against her belly and gently pushing. Some parents, and that includes us, swear by gripe water for gas. It has worked so well, it is now a permanent part of our bedtime routine with our baby. If your baby is constantly suffering from gas pains, she may have a n issue with breast milk or her formula. Some babies also have trouble digesting lactose. Lactase drops can be tried to test this theory before committing to a formula change.
- It’s Too Hot or Cold
Babies love to be warm, but it is possible for them to be too warm. The general rule is that baby is comfortable wearing one more layer than you are comfortable wearing. Babies will cry more about being cold. Be sure the areas where you baby sits or plays are a comfortable temperature. Remember that different areas of your home may be colder or warmer. Get into the area completely to test the temperature.
- Something is Irritating Them That You Can’t See
Baby’s skin is so soft and delicate that there are things that could be bothering them that we wouldn’t even think of. Try to put yourself in her booties. Is there a tag still on her onesie that is sticking her? A sticker, maybe? Is her diaper or her sock too tight? A good first step when baby is crying and won’t stop is to undress her and see if it’s her clothes causing all the trouble.
These are just a few of the reasons a baby may cry. It can be tough to learn what their cries mean, but they will appreciate the relief and you will feel better for it.
Was there a time that something unexpected was making your baby cry? What was it? Let us know in the comments.