I Know Why the Just-Fed, Freshly-Diapered, Well-Rested, and Constantly-Loved Baby Cries
While babies all have different behaviors, one trait they all share is crying. New parents and pregnant couples should be sure they are well-aware of the many reasons babies cry so they know how to prepare themselves accordingly to soothe their babies as quickly as possible with a minimum of muss and fuss.
One of the main reasons for crying babies is because they're hungry, and that's especially true for babies who have just been born and don't yet know of other ways to communicate their needs. Parents have to bear in mind that a baby's stomach isn't very large, which means it doesn’t take much to fill it up just as it doesn't take long for the baby to be hungry again. With breastfeeding, babies often need several feedings a day, even when it seems as if they were fed not too long ago. Babies fed with formula are often able to go longer between feedings, sometimes as many as two hours.
Babies also cry to let you know they simply need to be held for a while, which is another primal need all humans share no matter their age. Holding your baby provides her or him with comfort and a sense of security. As you hold your child, try singing and gentle rocking to provide extra comfort and put him or her at complete ease. Know that your smell, warmth and the sound of your heartbeat also provide your child with comfort.
A Simple Need to Cry
Just like fully grown adults sometimes need a good cry to make themselves feel better, the same is true of babies. Babies who are four months old and younger tend to cry during the afternoons and evenings, and this is normal. When a newborn presents clutched fists, flushed features, an arched back or drawn up knees, she or he might be experiencing colic, which is often associated with digestion problems. Know that sometimes your child might not stop crying no matter what you try, which is perfectly normal and not a sign you're doing anything wrong.
We all get a bit cranky when we're tired and in need of sleep, which is another reason babies cry. When babies are unable to fall asleep, they often express their frustration in the form of crying. Over time, you'll come to recognize the signs your baby is simply overfatigued, such as staring, being oddly still or quiet and crying at the slightest provocation. Simply taking your child to a quiet room and rocking her or him can help your baby drift off to sleep.
Not Feeling Well
Your baby might cry to let you know she or he isn't feeling well. This cry might sound a bit different from a normal cry. Specifically, a cry that lets you know your child might not be feeling well may be higher pitched, weaker or more insistent than normal. Besides a potential fever, it could be teething that has upset your child. Situations under which you'll want to be a bit more alarmed when your baby's cries are out of the ordinary include when they're accompanied by vomiting, fever, trouble breathing while crying or constipation. Contact a pediatrician or seek emergency medical care as soon as possible.
Too Cold or Too Hot
Babies aren't able to dress or undress themselves, which means they can't add more layers of clothing when they're cold or take them off when they're hot. Instead, they'll cry to let you know they're unhappy with the current temperature. Rather than going by how your child's hands or feet feel, it's better to use her or his stomach as a sort of thermometer to determine if he or she is too hot or cold. Oftentimes, babies need one extra layer of clothing than you to be wholly comfortable. It's also best to make sure you position your child on her or his back when sleeping so he or she doesn't overheat by squirming under the blankets.
A soiled diaper is another common reasons for babies to cry. Once you've attempted to feed and comfort your child, check her or his diaper to see if it needs changing. Know that your baby might continue to cry even while you're doing a diaper change. This is because babies are sometimes unsettled by the cold air on their bare skin. It's also worth pointing out that not all babies cry when they need a diaper change; some don’t mind as long as their skin isn't being irritated.
Needs to Burp
When your baby cries because she or he is hungry, be sure you burp your child afterward. If not, your baby might start crying again because of the discomfort caused by all the swallowed air. To burp your child, you can pat him or her on the back while holding her or him over your shoulder. Another method is to hold your child over your left shoulder with her or his left arm over your shoulder and rubbing your baby's left side in circles starting from the waist and working your way up. It's important to point out here that other reasons you might need to burp your child include after he or she has sucked on a pacifier or when your baby has the hiccups.
Everything is new to newborns, and having so much for them to discover can sometimes overstimulate them. When this happens, it's common for babies to cry. Bear in mind that newborns are used to the soothing confines of the womb, so when they're being passed around from person to person or traveling to and fro, it can overwhelm them. Since babies can't tell you there's too much sensory information for them to take, they instead cry to let you know something's wrong.
And there you have several reasons babies often cry. Be sure to explore them all to find out what works for your baby and his or her specific needs. For more information on childrearing, be sure to check out our social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter (@kamo_family) and Instagram (kamofamily).