Babies cry, but why?

Crying is a normal communication response that babies use, but unfortunately, it can be hard for parents to hear. A baby’s cry tugs at a parent’s heartstrings, which can make an adult feel anxious, tense, and guilty about not knowing why their baby is crying.

Should they respond to their baby’s cries right away? Or should they let him or her ‘cry’?

When a parent gains experience, along with professional knowledge and facts about why babies cry, it enables them to make parenting decisions with confidence.

Why do babies cry?

· Hungry

Physical discomfort such as being too hot, too cold, bloating, pain, vomiting, or gas


tired/too tired

Passing a bowel movement

Needs a reassuring hug


Release of accumulated ‘stress’

During the first 8 weeks of a baby’s life, they often experience a “fussy” period that can last 4-5 hours each day. This period is often referred to as the “witch hour” and usually occurs in the late afternoon between 3 and 4 p.m. During this fussy period, a baby will cry irregularly and appear hungry, gassy, ​​and unable to sleep. Adaptive techniques and patience from parents will be needed to cope with this time. These adaptation techniques may include carrying your baby in a baby carrier or sling, a deep, warm bath, extra feeding, a walk outside, cuddling, an electronic swing, or handing over to another caregiver.

Once a parent has learned to identify their child’s different cries, it’s about what they can do to help. Below are some ideas based on both personal and professional findings over many years. Remember that not all crying is ‘bad’ and it doesn’t have to stop. The parents’ knowledge and perception of their baby’s crying will determine their response.

1. A cry of hunger

For the first few days after birth, a baby can be fed from both breasts whenever he cries and at least every 2 hours during the day until the breastmilk has ‘come in’. When breast milk is present, the baby should be encouraged to nurse from one breast at each feeding until the breast is empty (approximately 30 to 40 minutes). Babies should be kept awake while nursing to ensure good nourishing suckling. Offer the second breast only if she is still hungry.

Starting at 3 weeks, a breastfed baby should be fed at least every 3 hours during the day and every 4 hours if formula-fed. This may mean waking your baby up if he sleeps too much during the day.

Tips: Feed more frequently during a growth spurt. (approximately 7 days, 3 weeks, 6 weeks and 3 months)

and ensure a good attachment to the breast, otherwise they will tire from feeding without getting enough milk.

2. Physical discomfort

in. Massaging your baby daily will facilitate a conditioned tactile relaxation response that is beneficial to your baby’s maturing central nervous system.

B. Have your baby screened for ‘Reflux’ if they are:

-Always restless and crying.

-You will not lie happily on your back.

-Screams after spitting.

-Swallows and swallows even when not feeding.

– Hiccups often.

-Wake up after 20-30 minutes of sleep on a regular basis.

Cons Identify any food intolerances, particularly to dairy and wheat products. There are telltale signs and symptoms with a breastfed or formula-fed baby that can be evaluated by a local health professional. Some of these signs include, but are not limited to, eczema or rashes, vomiting, bowel changes, and swelling.

D. Prevent excessive weight gain by not overfeeding.

me. Dress a baby in one more layer than the parent who feels the heat more.

F. Try to use a pacifier.

gram. Sing or read to them. Babies soothe to the rhythmic sounds of your voice, and don’t worry if it’s off tune!

H. Watch for fever, listlessness, and fewer than 6 wet diapers in a day, which would indicate a need to see a doctor.

3. Overstimulated

Allow the baby space after each feeding to move his limbs and not be picked up.

· Be aware that some babies are overwhelmed by lights, crowds, smells and noise from shopping malls and other ‘busy’ areas and will be restless and cry during the visit or after they have returned home.

4. Tiredness

· Consider how much sleep your baby needs and make sure he gets a chance to sleep at regular intervals.

· Set ‘cues’ to sleep, such as swaddling or offering a pacifier. These cues can help your baby recognize that it is time to sleep.

· Be aware of and watch out for signs of tiredness, such as jerking limb movements, facial grimacing, yawning, breaking of eye contact, and clenched fists. These are signs that your newborn baby is ready for sleep.

5. too tired

Try not to ignore the signs of tiredness described above, as this is the window of opportunity that makes it easier for a baby to fall asleep.

· A baby will not attend well to the bottle or the breast if he is too tired. Therefore, always feed them right after they wake up before they are about to sleep.

If a young baby needs to cry, he doesn’t need to ‘cry’ alone in his crib, but can hold him and be calm and comforted while he cries in your arms.

When an overly tired baby finally falls asleep, their sleep can be irregular and shortened, lasting only 15 to 20 minutes. Therefore, try to prevent your baby from reaching this stage.

6. Pass a bowel movement

A young baby often cries before having a bowel movement, which is called ‘infant dyschezia’. This condition lasts only 2 weeks and is not associated with any other intestinal changes such as blood, mucous membranes, foam or anal fissures, which are signs that should be evaluated by a professional.

7. I need a hug

Before birth, your baby has been close to its mother’s heartbeat and aware of other muffled, rhythmic sounds from the womb and external noises. They have been floating in the warmth of the fluid and felt safe being encapsulated and placed in the womb. Exposure to the outside world filled with sudden loud high-pitched noises, odors, brightness, clothing wear, milk taste, and bodily functioning can be a great adjustment for your baby. A safe, reassuring, and comforting hug may be just the thing to help them feel like everything is okay.

8. Colic

The term colic is often used to describe a baby who is extremely restless, irritable, and cries regularly. It is a time when all the techniques that had been working or could work to calm your baby no longer work. Your baby is lifting his legs and crying a cry that sounds desperate. They may stiffen their backs and not want to be picked up. All the usual comfort measures aren’t working, and your baby (and most likely you) is getting more and more desperate. This is a difficult time for most parents, and not just new parents. You feel useless and hope that you are not missing something serious.

There is often a good explanation for why a baby behaves in this way and with careful diagnosis and appropriate measures this distress can be reduced. These may include:

– “Growth spurts” (occurring over approximately 24 hours at 3 days, 7 days, 2-3 weeks and 6 weeks of age).

-The ‘witching or arsenic hour’ that lasts 3 to 4 hours, which usually disappears between 8 and 12 weeks and is believed to be related to the development of the baby’s nervous system.

– Being too tired.

-Misreading their babies’ signals, for example, trying to feed when they cry from exhaustion or sleeping when they are hungry.

-The temperament of your baby.

-Being handled by an overly anxious and nervous parent or caregiver in a tense home.

-Internal rhythm known as “circadian rhythm” not yet established.


– Reflux, which can also be ‘silent’ without vomiting.

-Allergies and/or intolerances to certain foods.

If all of these options are explored and nothing is discovered, then that could be labeled true colic, which can last up to 3 months of age. Not knowing why a baby is crying, as well as dealing with crying, can be extremely difficult and exhausting for parents. A good support network is vital for parents of a colicky child, as it can be a very draining time both emotionally and physically.

Some settling methods to try:

· Use the stroller to rock them to sleep.

· Use an electronic swing, carrier or sling.

Give your baby a relaxation bath either alone or in a deep one with you. Try putting a cup of chamomile tea in your bath water and a warm washcloth over your tummy.

· Breastfeed quickly or suck on a pacifier.

Go out and meet someone or take a brisk walk with them in a stroller or baby carrier.

· Lie down with them and hold them gently.

Play loud ‘white noise’ or music in your sleeping area

· Do whatever else you think would work for your baby, making sure to take her personality into account. Try to stay calm and always give your baby to the one who is calmest.

· Relax with the idea that it will pass with time: colic usually starts at 3 weeks and continues until around 3 months.

If you are concerned about unstable behavior, have your baby checked out by your pediatrician or child health professional.

9. Release of accumulated ‘stress’

Due to a baby’s immature nervous system, overstimulation of any of their five senses through excessive touching, overfeeding, loud noises, strong fragrances, and excessive brightness can be overwhelming. Expose babies to the sensations of the world gradually, as they will be less likely to become overwhelmed. This is particularly true for the premature baby.

What parents can do to help themselves cope with the demands of a crying baby.

1. Have realistic expectations: All babies cry.

2. Say ‘yes’ to anyone who sincerely offers to help you.

3. Create social networks with other like-minded parents who have babies and toddlers

4. Be realistic about what you hope to accomplish each day.

5. Slow down, as this precious phase of nurturing your baby won’t last long.

6. Eat nutritional whole foods regularly and avoid eating too much takeout.

7. Rest every day, especially in the afternoon.

8. Do some type of exercise outside every day.

9. Give each parent “alone time” to do something they really enjoy.

10. If you are alone and your baby’s crying is causing you a lot of anxiety or frustration, put your baby safely in his crib or basket and leave the room until he calms down. Ask someone for help if you are afraid of hurting your baby. Staying with them when you feel this way could result in you lashing out aggressively.

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