After months of waiting, the little one has finally arrived! This is going to be one of the most memorable days of every new mom and dad’s life. The new born baby will bring in a lot of joy and priceless moments for the family. Parents will be in for a few surprises too.
The baby is not going to be happy and cheerful at all times. New parents will come across a lot of instances when the baby is uncomfortable and crying. But, sadly, new parents find it difficult to know the exact reason why the baby is uncomfortable and crying. It can be really frustrating for parents.
Babies cannot express their dissatisfaction, concerns or fears like we do. So, crying and showing discomfort is the only way in which they can communicate their feelings to us. There is no need to worry about this, because it is all a part of the growing process and parents will learn the cause of their baby’s discomfort with the passage of time.
And always remember, this is not going to last forever. As the baby grows, he will learn other means of communicating his/her problems.
The baby may be struggling to get a lot of problems under control like hunger, tummy ache, temperature, constipation, her emotions, and so on. So parents should try to comfort and calm the baby rather than getting tensed and panicking. Wen parents observe the baby carefully, after some time they will be able to identify the reason why their baby is crying.
Let us discuss fifteen things that make a baby uncomfortable and fussy.
15 Gas Pain
Both breastfed and bottle fed babies are prone to pain caused by gas and this is one thing that can make all babies extremely uncomfortable. Under normal circumstances, babies pass gas around fifteen to twenty times in a day. Burping is the best way to expel gas and parents should encourage babies to burp after a meal.
Gas is a byproduct that occurs naturally during the process of digestion the nutrients present in breast milk or formula.
The pressure created by the buoyant gas builds up in the intestines causes bloating and can result in pain and discomfort in the baby. Baby may also swallow too much air during feedings and this can cause a build-up of gas. Incomplete indigestion of food can also cause gas problems like flatulence.
To eliminate the trapped gas, after feeding, mothers should massage the baby’s stomach in a clockwise direction when the baby is lying on his back. Supporting the little one on the shoulder and patting the back firmly is another position that works well in providing babies relief of gas pain.
14 Wet Diapers
Wet diapers can cause a baby to be extremely uncomfortable and restless. Some babies cry when their diaper is wet. It is a good habit to check the baby’s diaper about two to three hours after each feeding rather than waiting for the baby to cry or for the diaper to smell.
A wet diaper can cause the baby to wake up frequently at night and be uncomfortable. To prevent this, parents should try to keep the baby as dry as possible by selecting the right diaper size depending on the baby’s age and weight.
If that doesn’t suffice, the mother must wrap an extra absorbing layer around the nappy. Reusable cloth diapers can also be used instead of the disposable ones. Parents should also change the baby’s nappy just before putting the baby to sleep. Finally, mommies should select the best fitting and the most absorbant nappies for their babies to avoid discomfort.
Dealing with a colicky baby can be extremely frustrating and difficult for parents. The joy of having a new member is replaced suddenly by tension, sleeplessness and panic for parents. Parents try feeding, holding the baby, changing the diaper, comforting, but nothing works. This could be infant colic.
There are no specific tests to identify colic. Babies cry continuously, vigorously and writhe as if in pain. The knees are pulled up and the fists are clenched. Sometimes, the baby’s stomach is bloated.
Though it is not proven scientifically, experts believe that gastrointestinal discomfort may be one of the triggers for colic in babies. It can be due to other factors too. Colic may be due to trapped intestinal gas caused by improper digestion, gastro esophageal reflux, allergy to milk proteins or food, transient lactase deficiency, bacterial imbalance or many other reasons.
Parents must try to console the baby through trial and error methods as it is difficult to know what works best for their baby. Some remedies include gripe water, colic hold, sound, music, massage, motion, pacifiers, warm bath, and so on.
12 Teething Problems
A first tooth is a milestone in the baby’s development. But, when the baby’s first teeth starts sprouting, the baby may experience a lot of pain, red swollen gums, and discomfort. The baby may also be irritable and not feed well. In some babies, there will be heavy drooling when the first tooth comes through.
This happens because the sharp tiny teeth are pushing out through the baby’s soft and tender gums.
To relieve the pain, parents should give the baby something cold to bite, if the baby is over six months of age. This relieves the pressure and reduces the pain. Hard food items like crackers, should not be given. To reduce the pain, moms can also rub a clean finger over the baby’s sore gums and massage the gums lightly.
Giving a teething ring to chew is another option. Once the first few teeth are out, the process will be less painful.
11 Temperature Changes
Sometimes the baby may be uncomfortable and start crying because he is feeling too hot or too cold. Normally, babies must wear one layer of clothing more than adults. The baby’s hands and feet are generally cold. Parents can feel the baby’s tummy to see if the baby is feeling hot or cold.
If the baby can’t tolerate cold, he/she will start crying as soon as you remove the clothes for bathing or when you change the nappies.
If the baby is feeling too cold and uncomfortable, parents should add a layer of clothing or blanket. If the baby is feeling hot due to overdressing, remove the extra layers. Parents must also remove an extra layer of blanket. The baby may have a fever. So check the temperature and if it is above 100.4 degrees, consult your pediatrician.
Ideally, the temperature in the baby’s room should be about 75 degrees.
Sleep is as important as nutrition is to a baby. On many occasions, parents will have noticed their baby rubbing their eyes, crying and cranky. Newborn babies normally sleep after every two to three hours. If they do not sleep due to some reason, fatigue and tiredness sets in and they are fussy and uncomfortable. Parents should be able to recognize the signs of tiredness.
The normal indicators of tiredness include decreased activity, looking glazed, clenched fists, whining, fussing, screaming, pulling ears or hair, rubbing eyes, and the most obvious one - yawning. In such cases, moms should calm down or feed the baby and put them to sleep.
Once the baby sleeps well and wakes up, he/she will be happy and normal as the body’s natural balance is restored. Mothers should establish a daily bedtime routine for the little one and stick to it in order to help keep the baby well rested and happy.
Babies who are just starting solid food or using formula food are more prone to constipation. However, dehydration can also result in constipation. If the baby has not had bowel movements for three or more days, then he may be constipated. He will naturally be uncomfortable and cranky.
When constipation occurs, the stools are hard, dry and difficult for the baby to pass. To prevent constipation, foods containing a lot of fiber must be given to the baby.
To ease the problems caused by constipation, babies should be fed foods like apricots, prunes and other foods that can make the stools looser. Parents should get the baby to drink a lot of fluids. Parents can also help with exercises by moving the baby’s legs in a cycling motion.
They should also massage the baby’s tummy starting from the belly button outwards in a circular motion. A baby should also be given a warm bath to help him relax so that stools can pass easily. If constipation continues, a call or visit to the doctor may be in order.
Do you think frustration can occur only in adults? Babies also show frustrations. The only difference is they express it by crying or screaming because they don’t have the words or tools to express themselves. What is the reason for these frustrations? There could be many reasons for your baby’s frustration that makes it uncomfortable for both the parents and the baby.
It could be that the baby is not comfortable sleeping in the cradle, wants to get hold of something he cannot reach, wants to move around but is restricted by clothing or blankets, and so on. When your baby starts to cry due to frustration, in most situations, it means the baby needs your help.
Do not ignore the baby, but watch for a moment to see if you can figure out what is frustrating them. Moms need to keep a watchful eye on the baby and understand what the baby needs and help the baby out to avoid the frustration.
7 Fear And Worry
Everyone experiences fear and anxiety at some stage of his life. Similarly, babies are also uncomfortable at times due to some fear, worry or anxiety. Unlike crying with pain, when they cry due to fear or worry, their eyes are mostly open all the time.
Even though newborn babies respond with a startle when they feel some sudden change in sound, touch etc., experts point out that babies are not able to understand the concept of fear until about six months of age.
The most common form of fear in babies that causes them to be uncomfortable is separation anxiety. Babies are upset and uncomfortable when they are in the arms of someone whom they cannot identify. They are uncomfortable and worried in the absence of those with whom they have formed primary attachments.
This is one of the earliest, most basic fears in babies. Babies also fear certain toys, animals, sounds from the kitchen and so on. Parents should settle babies down calmly and gently. Most babies outgrow these fears on their own as they learn that mom returns after she goes away.
Do you like to sit in one place without doing anything? No, right? Similarly, babies also get bored if they are left alone for more than twenty minutes without anything to entertain them or catch their attention. They show their discomfort and displeasure by crying. When mothers see their little ones crying, they assume it to be a sign of being hungry, wet or having gas.
But, remember, it may be a case of boredom also.
It is always better to keep your baby engaged. Babies get bored quickly. If parents are busy talking to their friends while eating, are working on the laptop, or busy with the mobile phone, they should ensure to keep the baby engaged by giving them some safe toys so that baby can play with it for some time.
You can also move his cradle or seat to a new place so that he can see new things. You can switch on some nice music suitable for babies too. All these are ways to ensure that the baby is not uncomfortable due to boredom.
5 Hunger Pangs
One of the main reasons for your baby to feel uncomfortable is hunger. Newborns express their discomfort caused by hunger through crying. Babies have a small stomach. The stomach cannot hold more food like adults. They also feel hungry once the nappy is full. Again, they are usually on fluid foods. So they feel hungry every three or four hours.
That’s why doctors always advise mothers to feed their babies at regular intervals.
Moms are advised to breastfeed their babies even if the last feeding time was not too long ago. This type of feeding is known as feeding on demand. Babies behave differently. Some babies prefer drinking until they are full and satisfied whereas some others drink little by little. The latter category will require more frequent and regular feeding.
Moms must keep in mind that babies may not stop crying immediately. But, once they are full, they will be happy and energetic or calm down and fall asleep.
Another thing that makes the baby uncomfortable is overstimulation. You may be having a party or get together at home. The house may be full and noisy, with lot of guests or relatives all trying to draw the baby’s attention. All the relatives want to see the baby and cuddle him. They pass the baby from one person to another for a hug or cuddle.
This is an example of overstimulation. Other forms of over-stimulating the baby include noisy toys, music, people or TV playing loudly.
Even though babies find it new and are excited initially, overstimulation is too much for them to handle after a while. They want to find some peace and ask for a break. They express their discomfort through short, sharp cries or turn their head away. In such situations, the parent should take the baby to a quiet room and should spend some quality time together with the little one.
3 Loneliness And Need To Be Held
If your baby is uncomfortable but not tired, hungry, or in pain, then, perhaps, he may just want your company. How will parents identify the reason? If the baby is uncomfortable because he is lonely and needs to be held, then, he/she will look contented and keep quiet as soon as the mother holds him.
Small babies need cuddling and interaction with the people who take care of him. The baby may just be signalling to the parents that he is longing for the mother’s embrace, physical contact and reassurance.
They are often uncomfortable without it and will start crying as they want to be held. When parents hold the baby close, they feel soothed by the parent’s touch, voice, heartbeat, smell and body. It offers a sense of security to the baby and they feel warm and comfortable. They are happy when they are close to the people they love.
Swaying and singing soft lullabies to the baby will also calm them down.
2 Nightmares And Night Terrors
At times, babies are uncomfortable at night due to nightmares and night terrors. Parents often confuse the two. They are not the same thing. Night terrors are worrying or frightening thoughts that disturb the baby from normal sleep, but do not wake babies up.
If it is a mild confusional event, the baby may be moaning, mumbling or moving around for a few minutes and go back to sleep. If it is a true night terror, then it will be more sudden than gradual build up. Night terrors happen in the first third of the night. Babies forget about it when they wake up.
On the other hand nightmares occur in the latter half of sleep and the child wakes up feeling terrified and screaming. Nightmares are scary dreams. They start as a normal dream and slowly change for the worst. Children may remember the dreams for a few days.
1 No Specific Reason
Sometimes, a baby less than five months of age is uncomfortable and keeps crying for no reason in particular. Actually the baby may have some good reason known only to him. But they cannot express it to us. It is usually more in the late afternoon and evening.
Even the wisest parents and experienced grandparents are clueless about what is making them cry. It may be over tiredness or anticipation about changes when dad comes home from work, siblings come home from school.
As days pass by, the crying tends to increase. It reaches a high point and then gradually starts decreasing. Sadly, the baby will not stop crying however hard you try. He will resist soothing too. This can be frustrating and stressful for parents. But there is no reason to panic. This is normal and does not indicate that there is some problem with the young one.
It is normally seen more between two to five month old babies. Of course this can vary a lot from one infant to another.