It’s usual for babies to cry a lot in their early months. While some cry a bit less, others may cry excessively. Though a crying baby may be a reason to worry, you must understand the reason behind the baby’s cries. The prime reason is your baby’s inability to convey her needs in words or expressions. In such a situation, the only mode of communication she is aware of is crying. So whenever the baby needs something or wants to be close to you, she simply cries.
In the initial days you may not be able to understand the reason that is making your baby cry, but gradually, you start to understand what the baby is trying to communicate. Some needs that may be the potential reasons for the baby’s crying are:
Hunger: This is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear your baby cry. You can try to feed the baby when she cries. But to understand the hunger cues is helpful in deciding what the baby actually needs. Some signs of hunger in the newborn baby are smacking of lips, rooting reflex (a newborn reflex that causes the newborn baby to turn her head towards your hand when you stroke her cheek) or putting her hand to their mouth. If you spot these signs in your crying baby she may need to be fed.
Need for burping: Babies swallow air while feeding which may create wind in the tummy. As a result, they may feel uncomfortable and begin to cry for which she needs to be burped. Hold her in an upright position or lay her on your lap with her face down and pat her back. Burping comforts the baby and you can resume feeding. Try to burp the baby every time after she has been fed.
Gastric trouble: Tummy troubles can lead to a lot of crying. Gas, acid reflux, colic are the major tummy problems that babies usually face. If your baby cries a lot after feeding, she may be suffering from some gastric trouble. An otherwise calm baby can cry due to an occasional bout of gas. Try some simple techniques to help release the gas like holding the baby upright and patting her back or holding her with her face down and then patting her back. If the baby doesn’t get calm even after this, consult the paediatrician. She may be suffering from tummy pain due to some other problem like constipation, infection, lactose intolerance or intestinal blockage.
Illness: Your baby may resort to crying if she is not feeling well, if she has some pain. Try to calm her down. If she doesn’t, she is likely to be suffering with some pain. You need to consult the doctor for proper diagnosis.
Vaccination: A new born baby is all the more sensitive to any such stimulation and she cries a lot when vaccines are given. Sometimes, even after the vaccination the area may remain sore and painful for the baby. Avoid touching the area or making the baby in a position that might hurt her.
Need for rest and sleep: A baby may also cry when she is tired and needs to sleep. Though it seems simple and you may wonder why she simply doesn’t doze off, it is not that simple for the baby. She doesn’t have the capability to read her body’s signals and co-ordinate it to sleep when needed. Therefore she needs your help to go to sleep. Moreover, she doesn’t want to be cut off with the activities around her due to her sleep. To make this easy, you can simply rock her in your arms, provide her with some warmth, take her to a dimly lit, calm room of the house and pat her back lightly. This relaxes the baby, calms her down and makes her feel that she is not missing on anything and puts her to sleep easily.
Change of diaper: New born babies are very sensitive towards the feel on their skin. If the diaper or nappy gets wet and dirty, she wants it to be changed and may cry for it.
Uncomfortable clothing: A baby’s skin is very sensitive. Therefore the clothing or diaper you use for the baby should be very soft or made of cotton. If the clothes somehow feels scratchy or sweaty, she may cry and show her irritation.
Temperature: The new born baby’s body is not able to regulate the body temperature as efficiently as an adult. She may feel too hot or too cold with a change in external temperature. Check her hands and feet. If they seem too cold or too hot, you may need to regulate her body temperature by adding or removing clothing and by changing the room temperature.
Warmth and closeness: Babies love to be held. Holding her close makes her feel secure, warm and comfortable. When you hold her close she can make contact with your eyes, look into your face and understand your expressions. She can hear your voice and heart beat. All of these helps provide security and comfort the baby a great deal. So, sometimes, she may cry just to be held close.
Stimulation: The baby can sometimes get cranky and begin to cry due to over stimulation like passing from hand to hand, excessive lights, noise and buzz with people around. At other times the baby may need more stimulation like talking singing, rocking, swaddling, moving out of the house and doing some activities. Try to gather her needs by experimenting and sensing the pitch and sound of cry.
Teething: Your baby’s first tooth is cut anytime from 4-7 month. This is often painful and cause the baby to cry. Feel her gums, if you feel any swelling, she may be teething. Try massaging her gums gently with clean fingers. Try to provide her with teethers so that she can ease the distress.
Whatever may be the reason of crying, your soothing voice and closeness are the greatest relief for the baby. Shower lots of affection on your baby and do not get frustrated when the baby does not stop crying. She needs you and your closeness that are definitely going to help her calm down.