Some babies cry a lot; others cry a little bit. But there's something common in all babies in the entire world. They all cry. They do it because it's the only way they can communicate and express their dissatisfaction at the moment. If something, even the tiniest little thing, makes them uncomfortable, they will surely let you know about it by crying.
A baby can have a number of reasons for crying. Some of them are rather easy to detect. Like, for example, if a baby's hungry or if they have a dirty diaper, it's not hard for a parent to soothe the baby and make them comfortable by just offering a bottle or changing the nappy. But in some cases, it gets more difficult to find the reason. Babies can cry because of anxiety or frustration, because of teething or tummy issues, and even because they have a clothing tag itching their back.
But whatever the reason is, each and every parent needs to learn how to help their baby feel comfortable and happy. To do it, all that is required is to be very attentive to this little bundle of joy and comfort them every time they're distressed for any reason.
So let's check out the most common things that make the newborn uncomfortable and learn how we can deal with them.
One of the main things that make the newborn feel not so good is hunger. According to Elizabeth Pantley, author of Gentle Baby Care: No-Cry, No-Fuss, No-Worry, "If your baby hasn't fed for a couple of hours, or has just had a dirty nappy, he may be hungry."
If you don't want your baby to cry from hunger, make sure to feed them before they feel the urge to do it. Although it sounds hard, don't worry – sooner or later you'll learn to see the earlier signs of hunger (such as fussing, lip smacking, or rooting) in your little one. As Catharine Parker-Littler, a midwife from First Response, says, "After the first few weeks, hungry cries reduce because you learn to recognize when your baby needs to feed."
However, you shouldn't just feed your little one every time they're crying. If you do, you might contribute to another cause of discomfort – to overfeeding.
Another reason why some babies eat too much is drinking milk too quickly or eating just to fall asleep. Note that at their age their stomach doesn't register whether the baby's full or not, so you should always try to understand whether your little one is full and avoid forcing them to eat excessively.
Most importantly, don't overfeed your baby trying to soothe them with food. Better try to be more attentive and find the real cause for discomfort. If you can't do it, consult your pediatrician.
When you start feeding solid foods to your baby or shifting to formula, they're likely to become constipated. Needless to say, it gives them discomfort.
So you should always observe how often your little one is going number 2. If they didn't poop for three days, there're some measures you can take to help them. First of all, if you introduce solids, ensure that you feed enough of fiber to your baby, as well as fruits and veggies. The baby also needs plenty of water for healthy stools and, only as a last resort, the doctor might prescribe laxatives to relieve your little one's condition.
Gas is one of the most common tummy issues in babies. But, thankfully, it's rather easy to tell that your little one is experiencing it, and it's also not too difficult to relieve the discomfort.
According to Preeti Parikh, M.D., a pediatrician at Pediatrics of New York in New York City, some of the tell-tale signs of gas are wriggling, back arching and legs pumping. Here's what you should do, if you see these signs in your baby: "Hold baby on the left side or on her stomach to help with digestion," Parikh recommends. "If baby is gassy, bicycle her legs and push them up to her chest to help relieve the gas."
Although burping isn't a mandatory thing to do for all babies, some of them feel the urge to do it at times, so they cry to show their discomfort. The need to burp occurs, when a baby swallows some air while eating. So to release this extra air from their tummy, they require the help of their mom.
Walking around with your baby on your shoulder and patting them on the back usually solves the problem, but some moms find another solution. "What I found helps is some tummy time, a mom from Baby Center shares. "He'll often let out a great big burp after a few minutes on his tummy."
Soiled diaper is another common reason for discomfort in newborns. Just because the nappy is wet, their tender skin gets irritated and they start crying to let you know about it.
To prevent your baby from this kind of cry, use barrier cream when you change the nappy. It'll ease the skin irritation and help your newborn feel better. Besides, you might also give your baby some nappy-free time every now and then. Your little one will be more than happy about it!
One more thing you can do is become a professional sniffer. Just sniff your baby's diaper if they're crying to see if there's something "new" in there that creates the discomfort.
Just like everyone else, babies react to the temperature extremes and if they feel discomfort in this or that temperature, they will surely let their parents know about it.
Generally, most babies feel discomfort due to overheating, because many moms tend to overdress them. So if you have this kind of habit, give it more attention. Make sure that the temperature in the nursery is comfortable for you. In this case, it's probably fine for your baby, too. Choose light, breathable layers to dress them. And, most importantly, check your newborn's skin. It should be cool to your touch, but not too frigid and definitely not sweaty.
Colic... The word many new moms fret about so much. Specialists usually define colic as "long periods of inconsolable crying (3 hours or more)." Pediatrician Myron Rosen M.D. of Baylor Medical Center at Garland says that babies with colic commonly cry in the evenings, but they look and feel fine at other times of the day. Since these babies usually eat and grow well, specialists still can't understand the reason for this condition. For some reason, it just happens almost daily, but then, when the baby's about 4 months of age, it stops.
So don't worry too much about colic in your newborn. It won't last forever.
In fact, even the tiniest little thing can make your newborn uncomfortable. If they have an eyelash stuck in their eye, a hair wrapped around their finger, or a clothing tag scratching against their sensitive skin, they feel uncomfortable and can't do anything about it. They can't remove this little thing by themselves, so they can just cry to let you know that something isn't right.
So if you've tried everything, but your little one is still crying, remove their outfit and check their body very attentively to notice this tiny thing that causes discomfort. As soon as you do it, your baby will be happy and you will be Super-Mama!
Who likes to be alone? Little babies certainly don't! It's incredibly stressful for them to notice that their mommy isn't around. So they begin to cry to get her attention. They want her to come close, take them into her arms, and talk to them.
Don't think that you're going to spoil your baby if you hold them too often. According to Baby Center, it's impossible to do it during the first months of their life. Babies need a lot of cuddling. They need to hear your voice, hear your heartbeat, and feel your unique smell. Be sure to give it all to them.
To avoid the loneliness cries, you can keep your baby in a sling to have them next to you wherever you go.
And it's not only about you giving a lot of attention to your baby. Everyone else in the family should also interact with this little bundle of joy. Get your partner, your parents, and your elder kids (if you have any) to play with your baby once in a while and you'll forget about crying connected to the lack of attention.
"A baby's job is to learn, and he takes the task seriously. An infant without anyone to play with or something new to see may cry," says Elizabeth Pantley, author of Gentle Baby Care: No-Cry, No-Fuss, No-Worry, encouraging young parents to give a lot of attention to their babies.
However, it's important to avoid overdoing even when it comes to giving attention to a baby. After all, babies are like sponges – they take everything in. Everything happening around is new and exciting for them. And if there's too much of everything, your child can become overexcited.
Jacquie Coulton, health visitor, warns new parents,"Even relatives passing the baby around for cuddles can unwittingly wind your baby up."
In this situation, the baby's cries will mean "I've had enough. Leave me alone, please." So you better should give your little one a break. Just find a quiet spot and let your baby relax for a while and everything will get back to normal.
According to Mom365, your little baby has a very well developed sense of smell. It's part of a survival mechanism that helps them recognize the person nearby and understand whether it's someone they know or a stranger who can be dangerous.
Since the baby's ability to feel smells is so strong that they can tell you from your friend they've never seen before, it's logical that too strong smells can make your little one uncomfortable. It might also confuse them and keep them from recognizing the smells they already know.
So to avoid causing discomfort to your baby, it's better to stop using strong-smelling perfumes, shampoos, creams, fabric softeners, etc.
Your baby is about to go through a few growth spurts and you have to be ready for each one of them. This is the time when they suddenly start growing faster than usual. During this period, they will eat more, sleep less, and cry more. They're also likely to become even fussier and clingier than usual.
Usually growth spurts last for a few days, sometimes a week. After this period is over, the baby will become calmer naturally. So if this is the reason for your child's sudden crankiness, you just need to wait for a little bit and things will eventually improve by themselves.
Some parents think that if their baby wakes up in the middle of the night and starts crying without any obvious reason, it means that they had a nightmare. However, specialists still don't have a definite answer to this question.
Specialists say that it's uncommon for newborns before 18 months of age to have nightmares. But it doesn't mean that your baby can't have night terrors before reaching this stage. It just hasn't been proved yet. You see, it's not easy to realize what's going on in the head of a little baby. So if you see that your infant becomes disturbed during sleep, make sure that everything is fine with them and try to soothe them by talking, singing a song, or just holding them in your arms.
If you have checked your baby for the most common causes of discomfort but the crying continues, they might be sick. In this case, be alert to notice any other signals of illness, such as coughing, sneezing, or increased body temperature. Especially attentive moms also can distinguish the cries of a sick baby from other kinds of cries, so try to learn to do it, as well. Note that the crying can be weaker, more urgent, continuous, or high-pitched in this case.
If you suspect fever or any other serious issues connected with your little one's crying, don't hesitate to talk to your pediatrician right away.
We have all experienced it, but we have all forgotten how painful teething actually is. After all, during this process teeth are pushing through tender gums of your baby and cause a lot of discomfort. For this reason, when teething begins most babies become fussy and cry more than usual.
To learn that teething is the reason of your newborn's discomfort, touch their gums with your finger. If you feel a hard nub anywhere, it's a tooth trying to come through. To help your baby feel relieved, try doing gum massage or give them a pacifier or a teether.
Keep in mind that, in general, this process begins between 4 and 7 months of age, but sometimes it may start earlier.
If you think that the younger you are, the more energy you have, you're not entirely right. In fact, newborn babies can only be without sleep for one or two hours. After it, fatigue sets in. In case the awake time continues after it, the baby's likely to become tired, fussy, and tearful.
Dr. Wendy Dean, author of The Baby Sleep System, recommends new moms, "It's important to learn the signs of tiredness your baby displays, such as yawning, wandering attention and ear-pulling."
Also, keep in mind that the more tired your baby becomes, the more they're likely to cry, if they can't fall asleep.
Frustration is a strong emotion and it follows us from the very beginning of our lives. These days, we can get frustrated, if we don't get a job we wanted so much, if we feel like we don't meet someone's expectations, or if something doesn't go as planned. But when we were kids and life was easier, even such a simple thing as being unable to put fingers in our mouth could frustrate us.
That's right, it can be the reason why your baby's crying. Maybe they wanted to do something, but their body didn't cooperate and they felt frustrated about it. So try to observe what your little one is trying to do and if this is the case, just help them.
If you notice that your baby was cooing happily, but then they suddenly began crying like crazy, it might mean that something scared them. Remember what has just happened and analyze the situation. Did a large bird fly near the window? Was there any sudden noise? Or did someone your baby doesn't know take them into their arms? Any of these things could cause the reaction in your little one.
Of course, you can't control all the noises and you definitely can't make birds stop flying near your window. But when it comes to someone holding your baby, better give your little one some time to warm up and get to know this person a bit before having any physical contact.