Why Do Babies Cry?

Babies are fully dependant on us for food, warmth, and comfort they need. Crying is a way babies communicate, asking for attention, and care.

Some researchers have notified these cries as:(1)

  • Hunger cry: At first the cry is rhythmical and of low intensity and then becomes louder and more rhythmical.
  • The angry cry: It is similar to the hunger cry with different phases being longer.
  • The pain cry: It is sudden and loud in the beginning. It usually consists of one long cry, followed by a long silence and short gasps.

At times it gets hard to understand what the baby actually wants or what he wants us to take care of.

As the child grows there are various ways he can tell us about how he feels like. Mentioned below are few reasons, why babies cry.

Why Do Babies Cry?

Hunger: This is the most common reason why babies cry, especially the newborns.

  • Younger a baby is more likely it is that he is hungry. The baby’s stomach is small and cannot hold in much. Therefore, not much time goes and the child would cry to get the feed again.
  • Those breastfeeding should offer the child milk even if the last feed time doesn’t seem long.
  • For those who feed the child formula milk, make sure there is a gap of 2 hours after the last feed. If a baby doesn’t finish the feed consistently, he might want it often. In such a case try offering the child another feed.

Colic: If you find that your otherwise healthy baby is crying a lot, it may be due to colic.

  • In this case, the baby gets flushed and frustrated and would not like to be soothed. He may clench the fist, arch the back, and draw up the knees in pain.
  • The colic may be due to the allergy or intolerance to something i.e. the breastmilk or the formula milk. It might be linked with constipation, wind, or reflux.
  • If the child is crying excessively, it is important to consult a pediatrician and get recommended on how to soothe him.

Need To Be Held: Sometimes the baby needs to be held, cuddled, and reassured to comfort her.

  • If he cries, he might just mean to be held. Holding the baby, swinging him, or singing to him would distract and comfort him.
  • Wear a sling or a carrier to hold the baby close to the heart. The warmth, sound of the heartbeat, and your smell would calm him down.

Baby is Tired: An overtired baby might find it hard to sleep and this would irritate him and he would cry.

  • A baby gets lots of attention from the doting visitors that would overstimulate him, making it hard to sleep.
  • Take the baby to a quiet room, feed her, and calm her down before going off to sleep.

Too Hot Or Too Cold Baby: A baby might feel uncomfortable if he is too hot or cold. Try and check the child’s tummy or back of the neck to get the actual temperature.

  • Do not get misguided by the hand and feet temperature, as it is normal for them to feel hotter or colder than normal.
  • Do not overdress the baby; he may just need one more layer of clothing than you are comfortable in.
  • Use cotton sheets as a blanket for the baby.

Need For Nappy Change: Some babies cry a lot if the nappy is soiled or wet. A few might not even bother unless the skin starts getting irritated.

  • A wet nappy would bring a strange feeling of cold air on the skin.

A Child May Cry If He Doesn’t Feel Good: If a baby is not well he would cry at a high pitch, different from the way he usually does in the above-mentioned situations.

  • The cry in this case would be weaker and more urgent.
  • Teething would be a cause for a baby to cry more than usual. He might also feel irritable and restless before the new tooth comes through.

If you think something is not right, consult a doctor.

How To Soothe A Crying Baby?

  1. Play a sound to the baby
  2. Rock or sway the baby
  3. Try to massage or a tummy rub
  4. Try changing the feeding position and make sure the child burps after the feed
  5. Let the child suck on something
  6. Give him a warm bath

If nothing works consider taking advice from your parent and relatives. Talk to a healthcare advisor for coping strategies.

Crying of the baby is a phase, which passes off as the child grows. Learn new ways to communicate his needs to you. Slowly the crying will reduce.

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