It is no news that babies cry to communicate their emotions. The only way they express hunger, sleepiness, discomfort, or feelings of not feeling well is through crying and fussiness. In the early days of birth, you might not be able to differentiate between the various reasons for crying, but as times go on, you can tell when it’s a cry for food or a call to be put down to sleep.
We will be discussing some reasons why babies cry and possible ways to soothe them. Maybe you can see and understand why your baby cries.
- Wet or soiled diapers
- Feeling hot or cold
- Tears for toys
- Cry for attention
- Colic and stomach upset
Most newborns don’t start wailing the moment they are hungry; they show signs. And when food is not fort coming, then the cry begins. Newborns learn to store milk in their mouth from when they are two weeks old. You see them chewing the curdled milk first before they start to cry for food. Other signs babies present are sucking their fingers, lip-smacking, fussiness, and turning towards the breast of whoever is holding them, always opening their mouth. As your baby grows, he will be more specific in the quest for food.
SOOTHE THEM: Give your baby food when he shows the signs. You might be tired of his constant sucking. It might mean he isn’t getting enough milk either because he isn’t latching well or there isn’t enough milk supply. Find help for him to get enough milk.
Many people don’t know that babies get tired from being carried and played with. Sometimes they just want to lie on their bed and play by themselves. I remembered one morning when my mom was holding my baby, and she wasn’t able to calm her down when she started crying. She called me thinking she wanted to feed, but my baby wouldn’t suck. After some time, I put her down, and she stopped crying instantly and was happy. She played by herself till she slept off. That was when I learned that babies could be tired of being carried.
SOOTHE THEM: Place your baby in her bed or cot and create a conducive atmosphere for him to relax.
3. Sleep time
Many babies cry when they are about to sleep until they are a year old. If you have ever wondered like me why babies have to cry when they feel sleepy when sleep isn’t a bad thing. Babies love all that is happening around them and don’t want to miss out on any. They battle with sleep, and since most babies can’t settle themselves to sleep, it causes the fussiness.
SOOTHE THEM: Feed or rock your baby to sleep. Take him away from noise and visitors that might disturb his sleep.
4. Pain and not feeling well
Babies feel pain too, and because they can’t express it in words, they cry. If you can’t understand your baby’s cry, remove the sock and feel the sole of her feet. If it is cold, then your baby might be having a headache. Babies experience abdominal pain when the umbilical cord falls off, and the navel is healing. Flu or cold could make your baby fussy and cry, especially at the onset, when you can’t see a running nose yet.
SOOTHE THEM: You can give your baby acetaminophen or paracetamol for infants and toddlers. For the navel, soak a washcloth or clean white towel in not too hot water and press the navel till the baby finds relief. Check his temperature and nasal drops to help with the nose block. Humidifiers could help when your baby has a stuffy nose and can’t breathe well.
5. Wet or Soiled Diapers
This one is easy to check. Most babies cry immediately they poo in their diapers or are soaked from their urine. I can remember my baby smile every time I removed her diapers. I felt like she was saying thank you. But some babies don’t mind staying in their soiled diaper for some time.
SOOTHE THEM: Removing the diapers and cleaning them up will calm the baby down
6. Feeling hot and cold
You might have been told that babies don’t feel hot or cold. One thing I know for sure is that babies like proper ventilation. It is safe to keep babies warm, but when they are wrapped in various layers of clothes and blanket, they can feel hot, and they will cry from heat. When they are exposed to cold, they can feel chilly and cry, asking to be covered up. Every baby has the degree of warmth they appreciate.
SOOTHE THEM: Understand what your baby likes. Remove extra wrap or clothing on your baby.
While my first baby liked to be backed or held with a baby carrier, my second baby cried whenever she was backed or in a baby carrier. But she loved the swing. Some babies cry when there is so much noise around them or when they are held in a position they are not comfortable in.
SOOTHE THEM: Change the baby’s position, reduce the noise, or kill the source of the sound.
8. Cry for attention
Babies like to be held, cuddled, cared for, and spend time with their mother. At such times you will find that your baby will be relaxed just staying in your arms
SOOTHE THEM: Hold your baby and sway from side to side, sit down and cuddle your little one. Look into your baby’s eyes and say beautiful things to him.
9. Tears for toys
If your baby has older siblings, he is likely going to be crying for their toys when he is about six months or older. Your baby could also be looking for things to play with.
SOOTHE THEM: Get your baby age-grade toys that are handy and safe. You should also consider getting a playmat for your baby.
10. Colic, Constipation, and stomach upset
Acid reflux or gas in the stomach isn’t easy for adults. You can imagine how uncomfortable it can make a baby cry uncontrollably for three hours stretch or more and might not be able to fall asleep. The condition known as colic in babies has to do with stomach upset from gas, which might be because of lactose intolerance or something in the mother’s breastmilk, which came from what she ate. There are certain herbs and spices a nursing mother shouldn’t eat in her food because they can upset the baby’s stomach and can also cause constipation. Some babies don’t do well with dairy in their mother’s breastmilk. Doctors might tell you it is normal that your baby hasn’t gone to the toilet for four days as long as he is farting. That is what they told me. But I knew my baby was suffering until I did something about it.
SOOTHE THEM: help your baby burp after every feeding. If he is suffering from constipation, help your baby pass out the poop. Also, give your baby tummy time, it could settle him for a while.
Teething brings some level of discomfort and pain to babies, and different babies handle it differently.
SOOTHE THEM: check the gums for swelling or hotness. Give analgesics to help with the pain. Get teething toys. Read here how to handle your baby’s teething