October 30, 2023

Why is my baby crying?

The cries of a baby can evoke a myriad of emotions in the hearts of parents. It’s a language in its infancy, signaling anything from hunger, discomfort, or a longing for the warm cradle of your arms.

Understanding your baby’s cries is the first step towards addressing their needs and ensuring their well-being. This comprehensive guide aims to demystify the common causes behind your baby’s cries, offering solace to the tired souls of many parents.

Signs of Hunger: The Prime Suspect Behind Your Baby’s Tears

Hungry Baby

One of the predominant reasons why a baby cries is hunger. The world is new to them, and their primary way of communicating their needs is through crying. When the tears start rolling, checking if they are hungry is a prudent first step.

Newborns have small stomachs and require frequent feedings, often every 2-3 hours. If it’s been a while since their last feeding, the cries you hear could very well be hunger pangs voicing themselves.

A helpful trick to ascertain hunger is offering a pacifier. If they latch on eagerly and don’t let go, it’s a strong indicator that it’s feeding time. The routine of feeding, burping, and changing can become a predictable cycle, providing a framework of understanding for decoding the cries of hunger.

Babies Cry When They Are Uncomfortable

Babies yearn for comfort, much like adults do. A wet or soiled diaper is a common discomfort that results in cries. Regular diaper checks and changes can restore peace, making your baby comfortable once again.

Clothing can also cause discomfort, especially if it’s too tight, too loose, or inappropriate for the weather. Ensuring that your baby is dressed comfortably for the current temperature can alleviate cries of discomfort.

Teething

Another common cause of baby discomfort and the crying that comes along with it is if they are teething.

Teething Baby

Teething is no fun at all for a baby, and it can leave them feeling a lot of discomforts, which leads to a lot of crying.

Checking to see if your baby is teething is simple, you can just look in their mouth.

You can also use your finger, after you have washed it thoroughly of course, and put it in their mouth to see if they have a tooth coming in.

Be careful doing this though, because believe it or not a baby can pack quite a bite (I know this from experience, Steven went through the “I’m Biting Daddy when I’m Upset” phase shortly after turning a year old.

A Few Tips on this:

  • If your baby is too hot or too cold then this will also often cause them to cry.
  • You need to remember that your baby is much more vulnerable to temperature changes than adults are.
  • They are particularly vulnerable to cold temperatures.
  • If you think a room is chilly, and your baby is crying, then they are probably very unhappy and are very cold.

This can be remedied by simply bundling them up a little better. If the opposite is true and they are too hot, then you can take off some of their clothing and try to place them near a low power fan.

Another common reason that babies cry is if they are constipated.

Constipation is a frequent problem for babies.

While we may not like changing diapers, it is a far better alternative than having your little one suffer because they are having a hard time going to the bathroom.

All babies are different, so you need to pay attention to how frequently they have a bowel movement.

If they are not having them as frequently as normal then this is a sign that they may be constipated. If their bowel movements produce hard stools, then this is another sign that they are suffering from constipation.

If you suspect that your baby is constipated you should consider increasing their fluid intake, and a gentle massage of their tummy often helps as well.

Temperature Sensitivity: Finding the Right Balance

Temperature sensitivity is another common cause of discomfort leading to crying. Babies are more sensitive to temperature changes and may cry if they are too hot or too cold.

Ensuring the room temperature is comfortable, and adjusting their clothing accordingly can help mitigate cries related to temperature discomfort. A room temperature of around 68-72°F (20-22°C) is often comfortable for babies.

Constipation Concerns: A Delicate Issue

Constipation is a prevalent issue among babies, and dealing with it requires a gentle approach. Monitoring the frequency and consistency of their bowel movements can offer insights into their digestive health.

If constipation is suspected, increasing fluid intake and gentle abdominal massages can help. It’s always advisable to consult with your pediatrician for personalized advice on managing constipation.

Sometimes Babies Cry Because They Just Want To Be Held

Believe it or not, sometimes your baby cries just because they miss you and want to be held.

Your baby feels most safe in your arms and sometimes they just need to be reassured that you are there, which means they want to be picked up and held.

If you suspect that your baby just wants to be picked up, and there are no other obvious signs of what could be causing them distress, then go ahead and pick up your little one and comfort them.

With any luck, you should be able to calm them down quickly, and then get them to go back to napping or sleeping.

It’s important that you comfort your baby when they need it, but it’s also important to not allow your baby to expect that they will be held all the time.

IMPORTANT: Babies can get spoiled so unless you want to stay up all night holding your little one, you need to show a little restraint and not hold them all the time.

While you should definitely comfort your baby when they are really upset, there’s nothing at all wrong with letting them cry and fuss a little bit if there’s nothing wrong with them.

Colic

Colic is a term used to describe severe, often fluctuating pain in the abdomen that is caused by the intestine or other parts of the digestive tract undergoing spasms. Colic in babies is somewhat a mystery to healthcare professionals, but it’s characterized by prolonged periods of crying and fussing in otherwise healthy infants.

If your baby has episodes of intense crying, especially in the late afternoon or evening, it might be colic. Consulting with your pediatrician can provide personalized advice and solutions.

Building a Routine

Establishing a routine can significantly aid in understanding your baby’s needs. Predictable feeding, sleeping, and playtime schedules can create a comforting rhythm, reducing instances of unexplained crying.

So, What Next?

I suggest you take some time to watch this AMAZING Amazing Video I Found on Youtube – DEFINITELY worth a watch if you want your baby sleeping 12 hours a night by 12 weeks

>>> Get your copy of Twelve Hours Sleep by Twelve Weeks on Amazon.com

With that, let us know which of these tricks worked for YOU!  Is there anything you’ve used that works every time?

Let us know below, don’t be shy! 🙂

Jeff & Yvette

About the author 

Jeff and Yvette

Jeff & his Wife Yvette live in Anaheim Hills, in Orange County California.

They're fans of Disneyland, and traveling, and are parents to TWO Awesome Kid, Steven Andrew (10/21), and Amelia (9/19) :-)

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