Are you a new mum? Feeling confused? You’re not alone. Many new mums feel lost and ask themselves ‘Why is my baby crying?’ While there isn’t a manual that comes with a baby, there are some things you should know to help in those first few weeks. Before you learn to distinguish your baby’s cries, this trial and error list may help you to find what the problem might be.


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1. Is baby hungry?

Has it been more than 2 hours since their last feed? Try breastfeeding or giving baby his bottle.

2. Is baby’s nappy wet or dirty?

Wet nappies can turn cold and feel uncomfortable against your child’s skin. Imagine sitting in wet clothes for a while – the theory is the same. Try changing your baby’s nappy.

3. Is baby tired?

Has it been more than 2 hours since your baby slept? Newborns sometimes sleep up to 20 hours a day. Each child’s sleeping habits vary greatly. My baby slept for between 10 and 16 hours a day for the first two months. Try these tips for settling your baby, ready for sleep.

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4. Does baby need a change or position?

Babies enjoy a break from lying on their back. Give your baby some tummy time to increase their upper body strength and neck muscles. Many babies also like a sitting position such as in a baby swing, bouncer or car seat.

5. Does baby need a change of scenery?

Babies get bored too and their attention span varies greatly. Some babies are content to stay in one place for a while whereas others need a change of scenery more often. Try carrying your baby around in a sling with you while you do the chores or going for a walk with the pram. Take your baby outside with you while you hang out the washing. They may be content to watch you for a while in the shade. I found that after a little walk under the trees, my baby would be content to sit in his pram for just enough time to watch while I hung the washing on the clothesline.

6. Does baby have colic?

Colic usually starts around three weeks and consists of periods of inconsolable crying. Usually medical professionals say that colic is crying that lasts for three hours or more each day for at least three weeks. Doctors don’t exactly know what causes colic, although there are many theories including wind pains, over-stimulation and anxiety.

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