There are so many different reasons why babies might cry. Deciphering why is a big part of parenting- figuring out what our little ones need. It can be so hard not knowing why your baby is crying or upset. You are most likely tired, possibly getting frustrated with trying to figure out why they are upset, and ultimately feeling a bit stressed. So what can you do? How can you navigate these rough waters? Let’s look at some of the reasons why babies cry and how you can help.
The very last hunger signal that a baby will show you is crying. Thinking about when the last time was that your baby fed, how much they ate, etc will be important. Is your baby going through a growth spurt? He may be demanding more nutrition if he is busy growing!
When babies get tired they will eventually resort to crying if the other cues aren’t caught. So if your baby is crying, and he is due for sleep try to work with it. Remember- if you are out and about, naps on the go are great! Let the baby nap in his stroller or car seat (supervised) or in a carrier. Is your baby overtired? If so, your baby’s stress response will be triggered, and often if he does settle and go to sleep, deep sleep may not happen and he may stay in lighter REM sleep, and often wake up sooner than desired. If you have questions about how much sleep your baby needs, and how to optimize that sleep, reach out to your local Mama Coach for more information and support.
Some babies can be very sensitive to a wet bum or dirty bum, changing diapers often can help eliminate that as a cause of upset. This will also prevent pesky diaper rashes too!
Gassy, Stomach ache, Reflux
If your baby is crying lots, especially after eating he might be suffering from a tummy issue. This is sometimes accompanied by an arching back, and apparent pain. First off try to get your baby to burp right after or during feeding, this will help the air from going further down his digestive tract and causing gas pain. You can also try to help the baby pass the gas by trying different positions. Laying baby on his back and pumping his legs in a bicycle motion can be helpful or laying baby across your arm- face down and gently rocking, this position takes the pressure off his tummy. There are other options such as gripe water or oval, but it is always best to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about these to make sure they are the best option for your baby. Warm water can be soothing and calming, trying a bath is great too.
When babies teeth it can be a big deal! Most commonly your baby will have increased saliva production, which can cause a rash or tender skin around the mouth. Your baby may experience discomfort or mild pain with this, which can cause a fussiness. Using appropriate teething toys, cold/frozen cloths for chewing, and using over the counter pain medications as recommended by your healthcare provider can help ease the discomfort.
Needing to be held close
Sometimes babies just need a little extra attention and connection with you. Spending time cuddling, soothing and connecting with your baby is important. Babies can easily recognise their primary caregivers- by looking, smelling and listening to their voice. Skin to skin contact can make a big difference to your baby and you may find it settles him or her. Swaddling can be useful as well in newborns, as they are used to being snuggled up tightly in the womb, and swaddling can help recreate that, as well as dampen the startle response.
This list could go on and on, and sometimes it is a matter of ruling out one reason for the crying before moving on to the next! If you feel you need support with your babies feeding or sleep, or have questions about their crying, please reach out, we would love to support you.