Why Babies Cry

There are many reasons why a baby cries.  The difficult part is finding out the why.  Some more common reasons are, they are hungry, too hot or too cold, they have built up gas, and need to release it, or maybe they need a diaper change or some TLC (tender, loving, care). 

How you handle the situation is crucial.  Being a caregiver of an infant gives you lots of practice and responsibility.  What you must never do, even if you feel it is much needed, is freak out.  A baby is very sensitive to those around them and they will naturally mirror, whatever feelings you radiate towards them. 

If you are nervous, or upset, in most cases, your baby will become that way too.  So stay calm, you can do it.  First and foremost, go through the natural things first.  Since babies can not rely on speech as a way of getting their needs meet, they do what comes natural to them to get your attention and the problem solved.  Crying always gets a reaction. 

Check first to see if your little one needs a diaper change.  You can do this by picking up the baby and sniffing the diaper to see if you smell anything unpleasant.  Or actually open the diaper and check.  The latter is better in most cases, because some babies require more care than others and even the tiniest bit of poo or pee will bother them. 

Also check when changing to make sure that the baby does not have a diaper rash, because this can cause discomfort too.  If a rash is present then apply a diaper rash cream to the infected area with every diaper change until it disappears.  If this is not the problem, or if after changing, your infant still cries, then you know something else is still wrong. 

Check to see if your baby has gas.  You can do this by lying your child on their back.  Pay close attention to their legs, you will be looking to see if they are displaying jerky movements with their legs.  If so, then gently put your baby over one shoulder and pat their backs in between their shoulder blades, to get them to burp.  Another way to release gas is to place the baby over your knees and pat their backs.  This is only recommended if the baby is old enough to hold their head up on their own. 

It is o.k to walk around with the infant and gently bounce them as you pat their back.  This will help the gas bubble rise to the surface.  There are good over the counter gas drops you can use also.  If after some time the child is still crying, check to make sure that they are not hungry.  Some infants eat more often than others so be aware that the normal feeding pattern is not always accurate.  Be tuned in to your child’s eating habits, every baby is different. 

Next on the checklist would be temperature.  Make sure the child is not dressed too warmly or not warm enough.  Except for newborns, who spend most of their time swaddled, a baby should be dressed much the same as you are.  Sometimes we tend to over or under dress them, out of good intentions, but it can become quite uncomfortable to your baby.  So if you seem hot or cold, chances are so does your baby.  Don’t be in shorts and have your infant in winter gear, or vice versa. 

When crying for a prolonged amount of time the baby will be rising it’s core temperature further.  If after doing all the steps above, and your little one is still squealing, then try the true and old soothing approach.  You can do many things from singing songs to your baby to calm them, to being more hands on and giving them a massage.  Babies love to look into your eyes and have you close in their face when you are singing to them.  And they crave a familiar touch.  Gently massage their arms, legs, tummy and back. 

Think about it, they are thrust into a new living environment and sometimes life just gets to be too much for them.  Reassure your baby that you care and will always be there for them.  It will sometimes seem like the baby is crying for no reason at all.  But in reality, they have a reason, you just have to figure out what the reason is. 

It is o.k to make mistakes, babies don’t require you to be perfect.  They just require you to be tuned in and ready.  It will sometimes seem like you are going crazy and don’t know anything, but hang in there practice makes perfect.  Babies are wonderful and open your eyes to a different world.  They deserve the best and that is what you give them. 

Learning your child needs comes with time.  Soon enough you will be a pro, who knows which cries mean which different things are wrong.  So remember,if your baby is crying, check to see if a diaper change is needed, if any gas needs to be released, when was the last time they were fed, they could just be hungry. 

Maybe your little one just needs some attention.  And always if you suspect something is seriously wrong seek medical attention.  Babies need to know they don’t have to conquer the world all on their own.  Show them you are there to guide them.