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Why do Babies Cry

By Edited Dec 1, 2013 1 1

Most babies will spend their waking hours crying to communicate their wants, needs and feelings. It is important to understand that babies cry because this is the only way they have to express themselves. Lacking language and developed reasoning skills newborns especially must rely on crying to express that they have a need. New and inexperienced parents often find themselves totally overwhelmed trying to calm their baby who seems to cry uncontrollably. They may even ask themselves if all this crying is normal. The answer to that is a resounding-yes! All babies no matter their disposition will cry at some time. If you are blessed with a calm newborn who may only peep at feeding time count yourself lucky but many parents find that their newborn is loud and vocal. The best recourse is to find out why your baby cries and then try to soothe the crying baby accordingly. It is important to keep in mind that the reasons baby cries and what soothes them is as individual as each baby.

Reasons why Babies Cry

But for some helpful information here are some common reasons as to why babies cry:

  • Hunger - This is the first thing that comes to mind for new parents when their baby cries. And most often this is the case why baby is crying. Keep in mind that once they learn to attach properly to their mothers' breast, breastfed babies usually calm down quickly when given a chance to feed. Mothers who choose to bottle-feed their baby can also get into a routine to get them organized so that when the baby cries, the bottle is ready.
  • Tiredness - Babies can get extremely cranky and vocal with the crying when they are tired. Setting a routine is crucial to help avoid getting baby to a place where he or she is much tired. When it's time for your baby to nap, put her to sleep even if she does not seem the least tired. It is also important to follow a bedtime routine religiously (feeding, warm bath and message, cuddle, singing or humming, rocking, etc.) before getting her to sleep. This can help prevent a melt down when your baby is too tired.
  • Soiled Diapers - Wet and dirty diapers are extremely uncomfortable. They can also cause diaper rashes, causing distress and discomfort in babies. So babies will cry to let their caregivers know that it's time for a diaper change. It is important to soothe baby when changing her diaper by making sure the baby is wiped clean and that the diaper is not too tight.
  • Colic - Some babies will cry incessantly and uncontrollably for no apparent reason. Other babies will go red in the face and pull their legs up. When this occurs, the baby is very likely to be having colic. Colicky babies usually suffer a bout about the same time each day, sometimes for three to four hours straight. This can start as early as six weeks and can continue for several months. Some people feel that breastfed babies are less colicky than bottle-fed babies. If bottles are used to feed the baby make sure bottle nipples are filled with milk to prevent the baby from swallowing air.
  • Extreme Temperatures - Many babies are sensitive when it is too hot or too cold. The trick is finding out what is bothering your baby. For example some babies on the coldest days will chafe at being to warm or may still need more layers. As the parent of a newborn you may feel frustrated trying to determine which it is but the best method is simply trial and error. On hot days be sure to keep the baby cool in light, loose clothing. When you and baby are out and about, pack some extra clothes and a pair of socks just in case you end up in a much cooler place. Child care experts advocate using layers of clothes in winter and cold days. Parents can also dress smaller babies in cotton jersey knit gowns that tie at the bottom, keeping their feet warm. For bigger babies, many parents recommend using one-piece knit sleepers with feet and a griper or zip opening from neck to toes.
  • Boredom - Just like the grown-ups that surround them babies can get bored and lonely when left on their own for too long. So they go ahead and cry to get the much needed attention. In this situations some close physical contact with your baby can often soothe them.
  • Aches, pain and illness - Since babies can not talk and therefore can not tell you where it hurts if there is an insect bite, ear infection, sore gums, etc. If a baby cries non-stop, you should check her whole body for causes of pain. Keep in mind that redness and swelling are often signs of pain. If you are unsure, be sure to contact your child's health care provider. Also it is important that parents understand that a baby might have a different cry when ill or hurting. In addition a normally fussy baby may go for long periods of time without making a sound if they are feeling unwell. Getting to know the moods of your baby can go a long way towards determining if pain or illness is at the root of their crying.

Temperament and personality - While new parents may not want to hear this reason sometimes babies just cry-a lot! Child development experts are unsure as to all the reasons why but some babies just cry more than others. After feeding, changing, comforting etc. some babies will continue to vocalize their distress. Premature infants will often cry more, babies who are easily stressed or over-stimulated, babies who required medical intervention after birth all of these babies often cry more. And most frustrating to parents sometimes babies will cry more for no apparent reason.

How Stop Baby Crying

No one denies that it is tough to listen to your baby cry. All good parents want to make their baby as happy as possible. So if your infant is crying start by covering the basics. A crying baby might just simply need to be fed, burped or changed. If that does not help than maybe it's time for a nap, a change in position or a session in the rocking chair. Your crying baby could also need a little more or a little less attention. You can also look for signs of illness, such as fever, vomiting, or changes in eating or sleeping patterns. But what if you have done all of that and still your baby cries? Sometimes the most effective strategies to help a crying baby can begin with you. Here are some of them-

  • Keep your perspective Understand that you are not failing your baby or being lazy if you can not stop a crying spell. It is just a fact that sometimes babies simply need to cry.
  • Slow down Stop what you are doing and take a deep breath and count to 10. Many parents find it helpful to repeat a calm word or phrase, such as, "Take it easy."
  • Use your imagination You can try taking your mind off the crying by picturing yourself in calm, relaxing place. It can also be helpful to both you and your baby to play soothing music in the background.
  • Take a break If you are dealing with a crying baby alone, put your baby in a safe place, such as the crib or bassinet. You can let your baby cry while you take a few minutes to regroup in another room. While you may feel that you are abandoning your baby keep in mind that you are doing the responsible thing.
  • Do not hesitate to ask for help. It is important that you let your spouse or another loved one take over for a while. Take advantage of baby-sitting offers from those friends, neighbors or other close contacts you can trust to stay with your baby.
  • Express your emotions. When you are getting frustrated, be sure to speak up. Saying the words out loud (even to you or to an understanding friend or loved one) can help ease the tension.
  • Take a walk outside. It can help everyone to put your baby in the stroller and take a brisk walk. The exertion may take both you and your baby's mind off the tears. If it is simply too cold for an outdoor stroll, you can walk laps in a local shopping mall or other indoor spot. It can also be helpful to buckle the baby into his or her car seat and take a short drive.
  • Sleep when your baby sleeps. Sleep deprivation can only make it harder to cope with a crying baby.  Realize that this is only a short time in your life and other things are not as important.  Sleeping when your baby sleeps will allow you to see the world and your fussy baby in a new perspective.
  • Recognize that everyone has limits. If you are worried about your ability to cope with a crying baby, you can contact your doctor, a local crisis intervention service or a mental health help line for support. Understand that all new parents have these types of frustration.  Do not be afraid to share your concerns with those who can help you and support you until you and your baby can arrive at a happier place together.
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Comments

Apr 25, 2014 2:18am
Yindee
I enjoyed your insights. As a new grandmother I have a lot to learn again, especially about the crying. Back in our time I was told after a week of the racket - for no reason, it seemed, that a pacifier was needed. Silence at last! There is nothing wrong with my daughter's teeth and I didn't need psychiatric help.
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