The sound of a baby crying is nearly impossible to ignore and triggers an urgent response from Mom or Dad.
Your baby is fully dependent on you, and you want to do everything you can to stop the crying quickly and effectively.
Obviously, your baby cannot tell you what is wrong, and it can be tricky to interpret the cries, especially for those who are new parents.
Also, living with a baby who regularly cries inconsolably can be very stressful, so it is important to be aware of the possible reasons behind the tears. This can help you handle the situation better and enjoy parenthood like never before.
Here are the top 10 reasons why your baby is crying a lot.
One of your baby’s basic needs that you need to take care of is hunger. When this need is not fulfilled, your baby will cry.
In fact, hunger is probably the first reason that you must think of when your baby cries. The problem is more common in younger babies who have not started eating solid food.
Your baby’s small stomach can’t hold much food for very long. This is why babies become hungry more often.
Have a close look at your baby and if you notice stretching or squirming, sucking sounds or mouth movements, or sucking on fingers, consider it as a sign of hunger. Offer your baby some breast milk or formula milk. If your baby is hungry, the crying will stop as soon as feeding is offered.
2. Dirty Diaper
It has been found that most babies simply cannot tolerate a dirty or soiled diaper. Babies communicate this discomfort through crying.
A wet diaper can irritate a baby’s soft and tender skin, which causes them to cry. Such crying can even happen during sleep.
Once the wet diaper is changed, the baby will calm down and go to sleep.
So, if your bundle of joy starts crying without any known reason, have a look at the diaper.
In fact, try to change the diaper regularly every two to three hours. This will help reduce the risk of diaper rash.
3. Diaper Rash
Similar to a dirty diaper, a rash in the diaper area, which includes the upper thighs, buttocks and genital area, can be the reason behind your baby’s crying.
The inflamed skin in the diaper area can be painful and, if not handled timely, can even lead to blisters.
If you notice red or inflamed skin on your baby’s bottom, get a diaper rash cream from the market and apply it often. You can also consult your doctor for more suggestions.
To prevent diaper rash from developing, always use a barrier cream at diaper changes. If possible, give your baby diaper-free time often so that the sensitive and soft skin can breathe and does not have to bear the discomfort of moisture.
If your baby is between 6 and 8 months of age and is suddenly crying a lot, it can be due to teething. Teething can cause a lot of discomfort and pain.
With your clean finger, feel your baby’s gums. Swollen and tender gums, as well as your baby’s tendency to bite on things, are clear signs of teething.
Give your baby a long piece of chilled carrot to offer some comfort. You can also gently massage the sore gums to ease discomfort. Gentle pressure helps calm the fussy and crying baby.
As soon as a new tooth comes through, your baby will return to his or her normal routine.
When babies are overtired, they simply do not know what to do and end up crying.
Due to tiredness, the baby needs sleep and as they cannot simply go to sleep on their own, their means of communication is crying.
Overtired babies may find it hard to sleep and they tend to whine and cry at the slightest thing.
Cuddling and swaying your baby, or using white noise like from a hair dryer or fan, may soothe your crying baby and help him or her to sleep.
Follow a routine for your baby and make sure he or she is not overtired. A change in routine can disturb your baby’s nap time as well as sleep time.
6. Tummy Troubles
The problem of gas or colic can also lead to lots of crying in small babies. In the case of colic, a baby may cry inconsolably for hours.
If your baby cries right after being fed, consider it as a sign of a tummy problem. The main cause of colic is air trapped in the abdominal cavity that leads to pain and discomfort.
Give your baby a soothing warm bath. It will distract your baby from his tummy discomfort and make him sleepy, too.
Also, putting a slightly warm washcloth on your baby’s stomach can provide relief from the gas and stop the crying.
If your baby is prone to gas-related problems, put him on his back, hold his feet and move his legs in a gentle bicycling motion. This exercise helps eliminate gas when done 2 or 3 times a day.
7. Wants Attention
Babies are not designed to be alone, and they love to be social. Most babies expect to be around people. This is why babies often cry when they want to be held or played with.
In fact, some babies are more sensitive and need a lot of cuddling. When they do not get the much-needed attention, they start crying. Such babies stop crying after getting the sensory stimulation that comes with touching, talking and cuddling.
Simply hold your baby close by your heart to stop the crying. The rhythm of your heartbeat, the warmth of your body and your smell is what your baby needs at times.
8. Needs to Burp
If your baby is fussy and cries after a feeding, then all that he or she may need is a good burp.
Small babies have a tendency to swallow air while breastfeeding or sucking from a bottle. When this swallowed air is not released through burping, it may cause discomfort.
After a feeding, pat or rub your baby’s back for a minute to cause him or her to burp.
9. Too Cold or Too Hot
When your baby feels too hot or too cold, he or she may let you know through crying.
Newborns like to be bundled up and kept warm but not too hot. Exposure to cold can also make a baby uncomfortable.
Also, take care not to overdress your baby. A general rule to follow is to put one more layer of clothing on your baby than you would need for the current temperature.
When sleeping, do not cover your baby with extra blankets as it can make the baby too hot. To check whether your baby is too hot or too cold, just feel his or her tummy with your hand. If the tummy feels too hot, remove a blanket, and if it feels cold, add one more.
Always keep the temperature of your baby’s room at about 64 or 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius).
10. Being Sick
Babies usually cry a lot when they are sick or have a fever. Your baby can’t tell you that he or she is not feeling well, so you need to take a clue from the crying.
When a baby is not well, his or her crying will be in a different tone from the one you’re used to. It may be weaker, more urgent, continuous or high-pitched.
Sickness may be in the form of a congested or runny nose, a low-grade fever, dry cough and so on.
In the case of a common cold or fever, give your baby a sponge bath 2 or 3 times a day. However, when it comes to a sick baby, consulting a doctor is a must. Do not give any medicine to your baby without consulting a doctor.
Other Reasons that Babies Cry:
- Sometimes babies cry for a small reason that may be hard to spot. For instance, a hair wrapped tightly around a tiny toe or finger can be the reason behind the crying.
- Some babies may be sensitive to scratchy clothing tags or fabric, which can make them cry a lot.
- Too many cuddles from doting visitors can make your baby over-stimulated and uncomfortable.