Babies can’t talk. So, they cry instead. It’s their only way of communicating, so it’s important to pay attention.
Sometimes, babies cry for no reason. Most of the time, however, he or she is trying to tell you something. It usually means they are in some kind of distress. As a parent, it’s up to you to save the day.
Here are seven reasons why your newborn might be crying.
This is one of the most common reasons for a newborn’s cry. They’re rapidly growing, after all. Constant feeding is crucial for normal, healthy development.
Infants need to be fed every 2 to 3 hours. If your baby is showing signs of hunger, don’t wait to feed her.1
Gas is another reason for crying. After feeding, burping is just as important. It’s easy for infants to swallow air while eating, causing flatulence and intestinal spasms.
To burp your baby, hold her against your chest and gently pat her back. Another option is to place her upright or on your belly.2
3. Dirty Diaper
A newborn baby will cry if her diaper is dirty. You would cry too, if it was you!
Check the diaper to see if it needs to be changed.3 Sometimes, you can catch a whiff without even peeking. Stay prepared by always keeping diapers and baby wipes on hand.
Infants can urinate anywhere from every 1 to 6 hours. As for bowel movements? Newborns can defecate as little as once a week. Make it a point to keep track of changes in color, consistency, or frequency. Report anything new to your doctor.4
If your baby seems to cry all the time, she might have colic. This is defined as crying for more than three hours in a day. It affects 1 in 5 babies and starts around three weeks old.
During this time, your baby will seem extremely fussy. Causes may include gas, hunger, sensitivity, or emotions. Pay attention to what sparks a tantrum and try your best to calm her down.
It may be stressful, but know that colic doesn’t last forever. Most cases stop around three or four months old. If it continues, consult your doctor.5
Around six months, a baby’s teeth will start to pop up. She can get pretty fussy and irritable, leading to lots of crying and screaming. Loss of appetite and sleeplessness are also common.
A teething ring can provide some relief.6 Cold fruits, washcloths, and spoons are also soothing. Before using any numbing medications, talk to your doctor.
Newborns are extremely sensitive to their environment. A crying baby might feel too hot or cold. Unfamiliar people, bright lights, and loud noises can also spark a tantrum.
Aim to make your infant feel as comfortable as possible. Depending on the weather, dress her appropriately. Stay within her vision when new people are being introduced.7
In the same vein, babies will keep crying if they feel scared. Infants crave familiar sensations like your voice, smell, or touch. Otherwise, they can easily panic. Babies want – and need – a lot of attention.8
Remember, crying is your baby’s only way of talking to you. Don’t ignore her – no matter how tired you are. You might even be able to tell the difference between crying from hunger and pain.